Mark Cavendish will take aim at the record books when he lines up for his sixth Tour de France this year.
A tough, mountainous route for the 100th Tour de France may look daunting for the quick men, but there are up to eight stages which could come down to a sprint finish and Cavendish, unleashed from his frustrating year with Team Sky and a disappointing Olympics, could use them to vault up the all-time rankings.
The 28-year-old Manxman has 23 Tour stage wins to his name after five Tours, a total which might have been higher had Sky not restrained him last year in order to prioritise Bradley Wiggins' pursuit of the general classification.
His tally leaves him still 11 behind the great Eddy Merckx, who holds the record for the most Tour stage wins with 34, but within reach of second-placed Bernard Hinault's 28 and Andre Leducq's 25.
And the first stage could give Cavendish another significant prize - the chance to wear the prized yellow jersey.
With no prologue on this year's course, the Tour begins with a 212km stage from Porto Vecchio to Bastia which is custom-made for a sprint finish.
Cavendish's performances in recent seasons have left little doubt he is the fastest man on the road circuit, one who can only be beaten by incident or team tactics, and that makes him the firm favourite to become the sixth Briton to wear yellow on the Tour.
His move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step this season seems to have given him a new lease of life.
Although Sky helped him to three stage victories last year, Cavendish often cut a frustrated figure, knowing he could have won more if the team was not preoccupied with Wiggins winning the overall race.
Cavendish got off to a sometimes rough start with his new team this year, and was outspoken when he criticised their lead-out efforts at the Tirreno-Adriatico, but by the time they arrived at the Giro D'Italia, it seemed everything had clicked.
Cavendish won five stages in all, with the second moving him above Robert Millar in Cycling Weekly's all-time British rankings, and the third bringing up 100 professional victories.
The fifth, on the final stage, was enough to seal the red jersey and make him only the fifth rider to win the points classification at all three Grand Tours - Merckx, Laurent Jalabert, Alessandro Petacchi and Djamolidine Abdoujaparov being the only others to achieve it.
Cavendish would dearly love to be the winner of the Tour's final stage too. He is already the only man to have won on the Champs-Elysees four years in a row, and provided he has made it to the final day unscathed, he will be the favourite for a fifth.
Whether that sees him catch or even surpass the great Hinault remains to be seen.
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