Cavendish under pressure

2010-07-07 07:45

France - The pressure is likely to be on Mark Cavendish when the 153.5-km fourth stage of the Tour de France takes the riders from Cambrai to Reims later on Wednesday.

The Briton is eyeing the green jersey for the best sprinter having lost it by 10 points to Norway's Thor Hushovd last year after being docked points for dangerous sprinting at the end of a stage.

Cavendish was practically unbeatable in sprints last season but this year he has been more low-key on the road after suffering a mouth infection in January.

"He has a little bit less confidence ... but what better motivation can you have than criticism? He wants to keep showing everyone he's the best", his Team Columbia manager Bob Stapleton said.

Arch-rival Hushovd, though, will be boosted by his victory on the cobblestones of Arenberg in the 213-km third stage on Tuesday.

Overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland leads by 23 seconds from Briton Geraint Thomas.