Cavendish to sacrifice personal ambition
Mark Cavendish (right) will attempt to help Bradley Wiggins to Tour de France glory
Mark Cavendish and Team Sky are set to take a day-by-day approach towards the end of the Tour de France with the Olympics in mind, but the world champion is likely to be seen working as a domestique to aid Bradley Wiggins' bid for the yellow jersey.
Cavendish won the points classification's green jersey in 2011, but the Olympic road race on July 28, six days after the Tour concludes in Paris, is set to take priority this year.
Team Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth said: "If he (Cavendish) doesn't finish it's because we'll manage the fatigue going into the final week. As far as Mark's concerned, he's happy to do as much as he can for Brad."
The Tour goal for Team Sky is to help Wiggins become the first British winner and Cavendish is aiming to play his part when the race begins in Liege on Saturday.
Cavendish is aiming to complete the Tour as conditioning for the Olympics and is likely to be seen carrying bottles and protecting Wiggins in the final week to help his friend and team-mate to Tour glory.
Ellingworth added: "I think in that final week Cav would sacrifice sprint days to help Bradley win the yellow jersey. It's great to see him in Romandy (the Tour de Romandie, which Wiggins won) doing stuff like that and he's happy to do it."
Cavendish, who showed his team ethic while representing the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, has won 20 stages in the last four Tours, but has already suggested he expects fewer successes this year.
His maillot vert win in 2011 was in part due to accumulating points at the intermediate sprints, but the green jersey is not on the agenda this year, with the 250-kilometre Olympic road race the target.
"I don't think anybody ever suggested that Cav was going to go for green this year," added Ellingworth, who has coached Cavendish since the 27-year-old joined British Cycling's academy.
"Cav's priority this year is the Olympics and he wasn't going to push massively for the green jersey. Of course he wants to win stages and he wants to be part of it, but the green jersey's not the big issue."