Cav brushes off crash, ready to shine in 2012

Cavendish had a minor crash in training while preparing for his season debut in the Tour of Qatar

Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) brushed a minor training crash Wednesday as the reigning world champion prepares for his season debut at the Tour of Qatar this weekend.

Cavendish reported on his Twitter account that his bike and shoes got the worse of the mishap that left the Manxster uninjured in what he called his “first crash of 2012.”

Rather than focus solely on the Tour de France, Cavendish says his ambitions arch through the entire 2012 campaign, with goals for the classics, the Giro d’Italia and Tour and later the Olympic Games.

“The last couple of seasons it’s always just be about the Tour de France, but now I want to repeat 2009 where I was successful throughout the whole seaons and I don’t want to be chasing July,” Cavendish said the Team Sky web site. “I want to know exactly where I am in May and June, so I can perform at my best at the Tour and Olympics.”

Cav’s early season schedule includes stops at Qatar and Oman before a return to Europe and a run at Milan-San Remo ahead of the Giro and Tour.

“I’d like to win Milan-San Remo again,” he said. “I said when I won it last time in 2009 that I wanted to win it again in the world champion’s jersey – when I got those rainbow bands.”

Cavendish says the Olympics take a special meaning not only because they’re being held in London but because they represent a chance for British cycling to shine on the international stage.

“Yes. I’ve won national championships, European championships, world championships, commonwealth championships, but this is the one thing that’s missing. I’m not focusing on the Olympics though purely because of that, I’m going because it’s in London, my own country, and we’re one of the favourites to win it,” he said.

“As a British citizen, the 2012 Olympics means a lot to me and I still get a lot of national pride whenever I pull on my Great Britain jersey. To do the nation proud, especially with it being the first gold medal on offer at the Games, is a big motivator for me.”