Mark Cavendish: “I’m disappointed with my lead out. I know they’re better than that.”
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mark Cavendish: “I’m disappointed with my lead out. I know they’re better than that.”

by Ben Atkins at 2:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tirreno-Adriatico
Former World champion expresses rare criticism of his teammates after Tirreno sprint

mark cavendishMark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) expressed rare criticism for his teammates after today’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage, after the former World champion could only manage fifth in the stage one bunch sprint. The 232km stage, between San Vincenzo and Indicatore, was won by Orica-GreenEdge’s Matt Goss - with the Tasmanian taking his first victory since last year’s Giro d’Italia - while Cavendish was left out of position and having to fend for himself.

"We planned for a sprint today, we wanted a sprint today,” said Cavendish afterwards. “We controlled it from the beginning; Martin Velits and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck controlled it. We got some help after the feed zone. It was quite chaotic in the final laps because it was raining, there were a lot of risks. All the general classification teams were trying to stay up there and it became very hectic.

Despite the hard work of Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates, however, the Manxman found himself badly out of position on the approach to the finish, and was forced to take action himself to move into contention for the victory.

“I was 30 riders back in the last kilometre but I still fought and had a chance with 300 meters to go, even less than that,” he explained. “I came to the right but the peloton swung on the right at the same moment. I just had to slam my brakes with 200 meters to go and so that was the end of the chance of winning. I feel we could have got a lot more out of that race than we actually did today, but we will try again tomorrow."

So far this season, Omega Pharma-Quick Step has successfully launched Cavendish to the line five times - as well as yesterday’s team time trial - and Cavendish has always been quick to credit the team’s hard work. On this occasion, however, the 2011 World champion was less than complimentary towards his teammates, with plenty of work to be done in the team hotel before tomorrow’s second stage.

“We worked as a team but we weren’t in a good position in the final kilometre,” he said. “I’m disappointed with my lead out. I know they’re better than that. We’ll have words tonight.”

Despite his stage finish disappointment Cavendish still has the compensation of holding onto the blue jersey of general classification leader, which he will wear in tomorrow’s third stage between Indicatore and Narni Scalo. Despite a less flat parcours than today, the stage will likely end in a sprint once more, where Omega Pharma-Quick Step has the chance to make amends for today’s performance.


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