MARK Cavendish is looking forward to his support role at the Road World Championships after being the headline act at the Tour of Britain.
Cavendish on Sunday claimed his third win of the 2013 Tour of Britain, taking his tally in the race to ten wins since 2007, as Sir Bradley Wiggins completed overall victory.
Now Cavendish, the 2011 world road race champion, will be part of the Great Britain team which this Sunday will bid to help Tour de France winner Chris Froome become the first man to win the yellow jersey and rainbow jersey in the same year since Greg LeMond in 1989.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Cavendish said. “I’ve based my training in the last month around going well at the World Championships.
“I think he [Froome] has got a super good chance. We’re going in with that plan. If we didn’t think he had a really good chance, we’d be going in with more than one plan.
“We’re going with just one plan and that’s to set Chris up. It’s a hard course, he’s in good form, he’s won the Tour de France and we’ve got eight guys. We’re in a good position to try to challenge for the win.”
Froome, 2012 Tour de France winner Wiggins and Cavendish are joined in the squad by Geraint Thomas, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson and Steve Cummings.
If successful, Froome would become the third Briton to win the road race world title, after Tom Simpson in 1965 and Cavendish two years ago in Copenhagen.
The Danish course was suited to sprinters, whereas the Tuscany route is a challenging one where only the strongest will prosper. Cavendish proved his sprinting supremacy with victory on Whitehall. The 28-year-old from the Isle of Man believes the Tour of Britain is ideal preparation for the World Championships and hopes to return time and again.
“I’d like to, it’s getting bigger,” he said. “It’s actually looking like quite a good race to prepare for the World Championships now.
“I did this race before I won the World Championships and just seeing the amount of people out, it’s near on a certainty it’s going to grow in terms of UCI ranking.
“I have a great relationship with the organisers and it’s always nice to race in front of a home crowd on home roads.”
After a frustrating year, by his high standards, at Team Sky in 2012, Cavendish is enjoying life at Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
The British champion said: “I’m really happy. I’ve been really happy all year. I’m having a great time. We’re successful and really have fun at the races.
“It’s really good that, although things didn’t work as we wanted early in the year, we still won so much.
“We’ve got the likes of Alessandro [Petacchi] in the team and Mark Renshaw again for next year. I think we can only get stronger from here.”
This season it was Wiggins’ turn to have a troubled campaign, with his Giro d’Italia withdrawal and injury ruling him out of a Tour de France defence.
Wiggins demonstrated by winning the Tour of Britain that his hunger has returned and Cavendish hopes to see his friend on the podium in tomorrow’s time-trial, along with two of his other friends.
“He definitely looks in super good form,” Cavendish said of Wiggins. “I’d like to see the top three – and I believe it could be the top three – three really good friends of mine, Tony Martin, Bradley Wiggins and Taylor Phinney. Not in any particular order. I’d be really happy if it could be those three on the podium.”