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“I don’t think it was ever a course that suited him as such, but having said that, it’s not to say he can’t win on it. I think it depends on how the race pans out; there’s a definite group within the peloton that would like it to be a sprint finish – the Americans included, obviously (with Tyler Farrar) – and there are those who would like to make it very difficult to split it up, and try to get a small group to go away and to win from there.
“It all depends on how it plays out. Tactics will be the defining factor. And there’s no reason to suggest it won’t come back to a group – and if Mark can be there, then he’s got every chance in the sprint. But it was never, ‘This is absolutely ideal for Mark Cavendish’ – it was always going to be a course he could win on, but (for that to happen), everything would have to go his way.”
But is there a Plan B?
“Obviously, Dave (Millar) and Jeremy (Hunt) have been selected in the team to work for Mark, but Dave’s in great form and he’s come out of the Vuelta on the rise – his form’s on the up and he’s in really good shape. And you never know with Dave … If he’s got his right legs on, on the day, that could be (our) Plan B.”