Brailsford states Tour/Olympics may be too much for Cavendish to target
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Brailsford states Tour/Olympics may be too much for Cavendish to target

by VeloNation Press at 8:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Olympics
Doesn’t want Manx sprinter and Bradley Wiggins to over-reach

Mark CavendishFollowing recent suggestions by people such as Mark Cavendish’s coach Rod Ellingworth that the rider might not necessarily target the green jersey in this year’s Tour de France, Britain’s performance director Dave Brailsford has said that chasing too many goals would be what he terms a ‘recipe for failure.’

Speaking to the BBC, Brailsford – who is also the general manager of Cavendish’s Sky Procycling team – said that the previously stated double goals of Tour Maillot Vert and Olympic road race might be too much to take on. Ditto for Bradley Wiggins aiming for both Tour de France victory and gold in the Olympic time trial.

"We've got four big goals in close proximity and they all revolve around Mark and Bradley," he stated. "So at this stage of the game you look at what their form is like and, like everything in life, you prioritise.”

He is essentially recognizing that to hold a peak through the Tour and on to the Olympic Games in London will be a huge ask.

"I think just to say that you're going to give each one equal significance and try to win everything is probably the recipe for failure,” he explained.

"What we really need to do is to look at them and say: 'If you could just have one, which one would you take?'

"You then build your chances around that. We're clear in our minds about our approach for this year and it will pan out as we get there."

The Tour de France runs from June 30th to July 22nd. The Olympic road race will take place on July 28th, just under a week after the Tour finishes, while the time trial will follow on August 1st.

Cavendish won the green jersey for the first time last year and will therefore have reason for trying to do so again. However last Saturday’s Milan-Sanremo showed that he is susceptible to off-performances and this underlines that neither he nor the British team can take his abilty for granted.

"That performance was a bit of a surprise and we don't often have surprises, particularly from Mark," said Brailsford. "He's a great champion and has got so much class but it didn't work out for him at the weekend and that's uncharacteristic.

He said that they were still trying to work out what caused the issue. Brailsford appears to be understanding that sometimes things just don’t go to plan. “If anyone has earned the right to a bad day, it's him."

Cavendish will not ride today’s E3 Harelbeke race, but will instead use the time to do a reconnaissance of Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem.

It will also give him a chance to recover from his crash in Wednesday’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen event. Directeur sportif Steven de Jongh told Sporza yesterday that his injuries are not too severe.

"There are no tendons affected, he has some heavy bruising on his muscle," he said. "It's a matter of enduring some pain, because it is uncomfortable on the bike.

"There are still a few days until Sunday, hopefully the pain will go away. Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday remains a major goal for him.”

Cavendish is yet to win the WorldTour event. Tom Boonen triumphed last year.


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