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"The question about how much heavier Mark is at the moment, doesn't interest me much. What interests me is who is going to win the first stage of the Tour de France in England on July 5 and who is going to wear the first yellow jer...

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele

MARK CAVENDISH

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04.01.2014 @ 14:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In recent days, a photo of an overweight Mark Cavendish has been floating on the social media but Omega Pharma-Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere is not concerned by the weight of his star sprinter. He is convinced that the Manxman will be ready when the first wearer of the yellow jersey will be found on July 5 in a sprint stage in England.

 

Mark Cavendish is known as a highly serious athlete who usually times his condition to perfection and arrives at the biggest events at the peak of his physical level. In recent days, his seriousness has, however, been questioned by several cycling fans.

 

On the social media, a photo of Cavendish has floated around, spurring on a debate about the current condition of the star sprinter. The photo shows Cavendish in his British champion's jersey and it appears that he has gained more than just a few extra kilos during the winter.

 

However, Omega Pharma-Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere is not at all concerned by Cavendish's current state. In 2014, the main goal of the Manxman is to win the first stage of the Tour de France which finishes close to his mother's house in Harrogate and so get the chance to wear the yellow jersey for the first time in his career.

 

That goal is still more than six months away and so Lefevere sees no reason to worry about a few extra kilos in the off-season.

 

"The question about how much heavier Mark is at the moment, doesn't interest me much," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "What interests me is who is going to win the first stage of the Tour de France in England on July 5 and who is going to wear the first yellow jersey. That rider will go down in history.

 

"We also have to say that he is not 1.90m tall and this makes 5 extra kilos more visible," he added. "But there are no problems."

 

Cavendish's condition may not be too bad as he beat fellow Manxmen Peter Kennaugh, Mark Christian and Jonathan Bellis on the Isle of Man a few days ago. He has now travelled to Spain where he will attend an Omega Pharma-Quick Step training camp to prepare for his first race at the Tour de San Luis later this month.

 

Sport director Davide Bramati has an alternative explanation of the apparent extra kilos.

"Maybe it is due to the fact that the British champion's jersey is very white, a colour that makes you look fat," he said. "I know that Mark has already arrived in Spain where we will have another training camp. For me, he has not gained more kilos than he had at this time last year. He is highly motivated and ready to win."

 

The photo of Cavendish can be found here.

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