Watch:

Cavendish rues lack of British riders at Tour

AP - Sports
Cavendish rues lack of British riders at Tour
.

View photo

FILE In this, July 12, 2013, file photo Mark Cavendish of Britain crosses the finish line to win the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 173 kilometers (108.1 miles) with start in in Tours and finish in Saint-Amand-Montrond, western France. Explosive sprinters, svelte climbers, powerful time trialists: the Tour de France is not just about the handful of all-rounders who will vie for the coveted yellow jersey when the race begins on Saturday in Leeds, England. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

LEEDS, England (AP) -- When the Tour de France begins on Saturday in Leeds, only four British riders will be on the starting line. And it's eating up Mark Cavendish.

With cycling's showcase event starting in Britain for the second time in eight years, the ace sprinter expected a stronger presence from local riders.

''In an ideal world I'd have liked to have seen more Brits at this Tour de France,'' Cavendish, who rides for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, said on Thursday.

Alongside the sprinter from the Isle of Man, the three other British riders involved in the three-week race are defending champion Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates. Former Tour champion Bradley Wiggins and veteran David Millar were not selected.

Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour, was not picked among the Team Sky riders who will help Froome in his title defense, while Millar was axed from the Garmin-Sharp outfit this week.

''Britain has been successful the last years in world cycling. That is a massive part of why the Tour de France comes to the UK,'' Cavendish said. ''I would have liked to see a few more riders, namely Bradley, David and these guys, Grand Tour stage winners from our country.''

Cavendish is the favorite to win the opening stage between Leeds and Harrogate, a 190.5-kilometer trek in Yorkshire tailor-made for sprinters, and ending in his mother's hometown.

''The media attention is on me because my mother is from Harrogate,'' Cavendish said. ''I'd like to win it. We've got an incredibly strong Omega Pharma-QuickStep team and we'd like to be successful throughout the three weeks.''

Cavendish has the chance to claim a 26th stage win on the Tour and to wear the race leader's yellow jersey for the first time.

''It would be nice to wear the yellow jersey. I've not yet done that,'' Cavendish said. ''It's not a given. There's 200 bike riders, almost, on the start line and every one of those would like to wear the yellow jersey.''

View Comments (2)
  • Tennis-Djokovic dismisses up-and-coming Kokkinakis to advance

    PARIS, May 30 (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic continuted his smooth progression htowards a maiden French Open title with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 dismissal of Australian prodigy Thanasi Kokkinakis to reach the fourth round on Saturday. The world number one from … More »

    Reuters - 1 minute 39 seconds ago
  • Kane strikes again as Spurs win in Sydney

    By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane's run of goals shows no sign of drying up as the England international struck to secure a 1-0 win over Sydney FC in front of 71,549 fans in a friendly at the Olympic Stadium … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 14 seconds ago
  • Cook closes on record as England make solid start

    Cook closes on record as England make solid start

    By Ed Osmond LEEDS, England (Reuters) - Openers Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth carefully guided England to 54 for no wicket at lunch on the second day of the second test against New Zealand at Headingley on Saturday. Replying to New Zealand's total … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • THE LATEST: Europe, US are likely bidders for 2026 World Cup

    THE LATEST: Europe, US are likely bidders for 2026 World Cup

    8:15 a.m. EDT)ok FIFA will let Europe bid for the 2026 World Cup despite comments by FIFA chief Sepp Blatter that it would be too soon after Russia hosts the 2018 tournament. Instead, FIFA's executive committee on Saturday kept an existing rule … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Singapore's Mardan wins Bangladesh Open

    Singaporean Mardan Mamat held his nerve to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the inaugural Bangladesh Open on Saturday for his fifth Asian Tour title. The 47-year-old posted a final round two-under-par 69 for a tournament total of 14-under 270 and … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago