Cavendish's tooth problem forces break
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cavendish's tooth problem forces break

by Bjorn Haake at 5:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Mark Cavendish has been asked to stay off the bike after an emergency tooth procedure. Cavendish complained about severe tooth pain on Tuesday, and in the evening had an abscess drained, while being at the HTC-Columbia camp on Mallorca, Spain.

The procedure was flawless, according to the Telegraph newspaper. Cavendish was put on antibiotics and he returned to the hotel, with the order to stay off the saddle for a couple of days.

Cavendish spent his Christmas in Paraguay and had complained about a severe tooth ache since returning from South America on Sunday. Cavendish downplayed his pain, giving a press conference earlier in the morning, before being rushed off for the long dental procedure.

Cavendish outlined his season's goals during the press conference. There is the green jersey in the Tour de France. "Last year it wasn't a failure for me not to win the green [points] jersey, although I was disappointed. But this year if I don't win it, it will be a failure," said Cavendish. "From now on until I retire, in the Tour the green jersey will always be my biggest aim. There's no way I'm changing that target."

Another big race is the Worlds in Australia. "The [Road Race] World Championships is also a massive, massive focus for me," he said. "Just thinking about pulling on the [winner's] rainbow jersey gives me goose bumps. I know I'll have great support from British Cycling and for the next two years the road-race course could be good for me."

Cavendish feels well at HTC-Columbia, so he doesn't think about switching to Sky (for now?) "Racing against a home-based setup like Sky is going to be strange at first although I've raced against all the guys on that team. But at the end of the day I've never made it a secret HTC-Columbia is the perfect place for me to keep on winning races."

The team is certainly happy to have Cavendish and they may make André Greipel, a winning sprinter in his own right, a helper for Cavendish. The Briton thinks this could be another plus in the fight for green. "We'd have to race together first and see how it works but he could be a big help in the Tour."

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