Cavendish didn’t give up hope of points jersey
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Cavendish didn’t give up hope of points jersey

by VeloNation Press at 8:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
World champion shows determination in finishing Giro

Mark CavendishUltimately losing out by just one point to overall classification runner-up Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Mark Cavendish battled until the very end of the Giro d’Italia by trying to pick up points in the final time trial.

The Sky Procycling rider has won against the clock before, taking the prologue in the 2007 Tour of Britain, but the far longer Giro time trial made it very unlikely he’d be able to finish high up. To his credit, though, he gave it a shot.

"I didn’t think there was not really a possibility of a top fifteen, but I thought I may as well give it everything to try,” a visibly shattered Cavendish told SBS at yesterday’s race end.

Cavendish ended up 55th, though, dropping two minutes 46 seconds to stage winner Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing Team). It meant that after three weeks, he lost out on the red points jersey by the smallest of margins.

"Shit happens, doesn't it. It's disappointing because I feel I and we did everything right for this jersey, but it feels like things were out of our control,” he stated.

The Briton was one of a few sprinters who didn’t withdraw from the race. Many did so to save their energy for the Tour de France but, although some people feel that it’s difficult to finish the Giro and also ride well in the Tour, he kept going. This was all the more surprising as he is also aiming to be at his best in the Olympic Games road race.

He made it to Milan, but said that it cane at a cost. “They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but I think it’s pretty much killed me,” he said. “I'm dead. I’m on my hands and knees. I’m completely on my hands and knees. This is known as the hardest Grand Tour in the world. The Tour de France it's different, it is just the racing that makes it so hard, here the mountains are just diabolical. It kills you.”

Cavendish used the moment to knock rumours that he takes pace from vehicles. A number of riders were thrown off the Giro for that, including the winner of stage 18, Andrea Guardini, but Cavendish insisted that he was different.

"Contrary to popular belief, I'm one of the only riders who doesn't fu**ing get a push or hang on to a car,” he said. “The commissaires do everything to make things harder for us, if anything.....they make barrages when it’s not necessary. It just completely, absolutely drains you. I am spent.

“But I've enjoyed it, I love this race, I love this country and the team's been great."


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