Cav plays down opening day chances

Mark CavendishMark Cavendish (5/2 Stage 1 Winner) has played down his chances of winning the opening stage of the Tour de France as he believes the nerves within the peloton could decide the outcome of the day.

The 2014 edition of the race gets underway in Leeds on Saturday and after winding through the Yorkshire Dales for 190.5km, is likely to come down to a sprint in Harrogate, meaning the Brit could wear the Yellow Jersey for the first time in his career.

With 25 Tour stage wins already to his name, Cavendish is widely expected to be one of the leading protagonists in the final moments of the day and a victory would be extra special due to his mother having grown up in the spa town.

However, he is currently behind Germany’s Marcel Kittel (9/4 fav Stage 1 Winner) in the betting to win on Saturday, while he is also expected to face stiff competition from the likes of Andre Greipel (5/1) and Peter Sagan (7/1).

Following his recent stage win in the recent Tour de Suisse, the Manxman is in decent form coming into the Grande Boucle but is remaining quiet on his chances of success in Harrogate as he isn’t sure how the peloton will deal with the unpredictable roads.

“I’d like to wear yellow in my career, but the Tour de France is the Tour de France, stages are hard to come by in your whole career, let alone every year,” he told the amassed media in Leeds. “The first day of the Tour de France is always nervous. There’s a lot of teams vying for it.

“It could be a sprint, a group could get away. Omega Pharma-QuickStep have a very strong team and we will try for a sprint and try to win it, but there are 200 bike riders here trying to wear yellow.”

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