By Kirsten Robbins in Clovis, California, USA
Team Columbia-Highroad's Mark Cavendish believes his realistic nature is mistaken for arrogance. The Tour of California stage 4 winner was asked about his "brashness" following his win in America's largest stage race.
"Yes, I have a reputation of being arrogant," Cavendish said. "But, I'm the first to state my weaknesses and I'm the first to state when there is something that I'm not good at."
At just 23 years of age, Cavendish is already amongst the sport's most accomplished sprinters. Four stage wins at last year's Tour de France is just a small fragment of his list of successes last season and with victories already at this year's Tour of Qatar and California, the year ahead is also looking promising.
"When I set goals and aims they're realistic, they're not dreams; they're targets and I work towards getting those targets," he said. "When someone asks me if I think I'm fast – I think it speaks for itself. What I need is to be put in the best position. When I'm put in the best position, I'm able to finish it."
Cavendish hasn't been in the best position on every stage in California however. On stage three he was unable to execute the sprint the way he'd hoped, which saw his teammate and lead-out man Mark Renshaw taking his second runner-up finish of the week.