TechPowered By

More tech

Cavendish angry after missing out in Montpellier at Tour de France

Stephen Farrand
July 4, 2013, 18:30,
July 5, 2013, 10:22
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 5, 2013
Tour de France, Stage 6
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) gets back underway

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) gets back underway

  • Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) gets back underway
  • Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) signals for help after a crash
  • Mark Cavendish inspects himself for damage
  • Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) beat all the top sprinters in stage 6

view thumbnail gallery

Holm: They kicked us in the balls

Mark Cavendish rode straight to the Omega Pharma-Quick Step bus after finishing fourth in the high-speed hectic stage 6 sprint into Montpellier at the Tour de France on Thursday.

He was understandably angry after a series of events forced him to start his sprint from too far back, leaving him with no chance to beat André Greipel, who got a perfect lead-out from his Lotto Belisol teammates in the final kilometre.

Cavendish also crashed in the finale of the stage, chased alone to get back on and then was forced to look after himself in the sprint after his teammates were unable to match the speed of Argos-Shimano and Lotto Belisol. Cavendish tried to move up in sight of the finish line but could only take the long line around the last curve and eased up when he realised he could not beat Greipel.

He vented his anger on the Omega Pharma-Quick Step bus, shouting loudly to let out his disappointment about the sprint and the pain of his crash.

“I came out of a roundabout, it was tight coming out and my front wheel went from under me and I ended up on the ground,” he told French television later.

"I think there were a lot of factors — for sure the crash didn't help. It took a lot of energy to get back. I can't say for sure though, you know, Andre was really strong today and he deserved the win. I'm disappointed, but you know we won the stage yesterday, and the morale is still good. We rode strong all day in difficult conditions, so it's OK. We've got another two weeks left."

Cavendish also shared his emotions via Twitter saying: "So so hot today! But no Manx sunburn.. Road-burn? Yup. Hit the deck. Leg-burn? Yup. Got beat in the sprint. Nice one @AndreGreipel."

Brian Holm gave a more detailed explanation about what went wrong in the sprint. The experienced Danish directeur sportif is never one to make excuses or try to put a positive spin on things when a race doesn’t go right. He says it as it is.

"We have to admit that they kicked us in the balls. We got our lesson today. Lotto was perfect today, they did everything right. We ran out of gasoline," Holm told a few journalists in the shadow of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team bus.

"We knew that in this sprint, you had to stay on the right. Cav tried to move up from fourth position but that's bollocks. You had to do it from the inside, start from the inside with a perfect lead-out."

Let him calm down

Holm wisely did not go on the team bus to speak to Cavendish. He knows it’s better to give him time to cool down, reflect on his race and then analyse what went wrong and how to resolve any problems.

"I usually wait for a few hours before speaking to him. At massage I always see him, we talk about it and we end up laughing about it," he said.

Holm knows Cavendish better than most people in the sport. He allows him to be angry for a few hours but expects him to apologise and move on to the next objective.

"He's like a boxer coming out of the ring after a fight. He's got adrenaline going around in his body and so I wouldn't judge anybody two hours after a race, especially when you're beaten like that."

"I think it's alright to be angry, be an angry young man but just for two hours. Then we have to be a happy family again. He'll be happy at dinner and will go around saying sorry. He's a good lad."

Insight into a chaotic day

Holm also gave some insight into what happened when Cavendish crashed, why his teammates didn't wait for him and about the sprint. He revealed that the team's radios were not working. That is why no Omega Pharma-Quick Step riders dropped back to help Cavendish get back on after his crash.

"I just heard via the race radio that an Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was down. We didn’t have a clue who was down," Holm explained.

"We went round a roundabout and we found Cav lying on the left. We had to change his bike and then we came back (up) with him. There were three, four or five riders down."

"We had a problem with the radio today, somebody had a sticky button and so it was just noise. Bramati stayed behind him because we had to change the bike again. Everything was a little chaotic today.

"It looked like Greipel had good legs today. We blew it and Lotto did everything right. Cav got a good win (on Wednesday), Lotto got a good win today and so I think we have to say congratulations to them."


WilliamHillSports3   Bet on the Tour de France with William Hill and get a £25 free bet


mandeep gulati More than 1 year ago
Was the expected post-stage-loss response... Greipel and Lotto were certainly better today as were Cav/QS yesterday... Tomorrow's bumpy stage will have them both on the backseat, while Sagan/Kittel try hard...
peter16x More than 1 year ago
Are you sure with Kittel?... forget it
TheDude More than 1 year ago
No way Kittel will make it over the bumps. Sagan has a chance. If he makes it, I'd say it is a good indication of his chances of keeping green the entire race.
deemfingtee More than 1 year ago
Degenkolb maybe but I doubt Kittel will be able to keep up.
Ratherbbikin1956 More than 1 year ago
I wish this guy would just shut up and take the good with the bad. I know that fire inside is what makes him so competitive, but he has been around long enough now to know that what happened today is bike racing. Besides, looking at the replay of the final, it looked to me like Greipel & company chose the perfect line. When AG jumped, he went straight away between Henderson and the barrier on a slight right hand bend. If Cav followed, he wouldn't have time to get around the gorilla after getting through the gap. And there aren't too many riders who can move Andre off the line he wants. I don't think the what Lotto managed that last few hundred meters was an accident either. It looked like a well executed game plan to me.
Winternet_ More than 1 year ago
He's not angry because of what Lotto did, but what of Omega didn't do. That's understandable.
Ratherbbikin1956 More than 1 year ago
He is angry because he didn't get his win. I don't think ripping your teammates new buttholes every time you don't get the win, especially since they have busted their collectives tail ends on very hoy very fast day keeping his preciousness out of the wind is the way to earn their respect and future assistance. It looked to me like Chavanel and Co. Had their noses in the wind for a good long time and ran out of gas. It happens, get over it. Stop acting like a spoiled brat,
Chris Jasmer More than 1 year ago
He never said anything negative about his team. Do some research.
Tonton More than 1 year ago
I think you're right: I didn't hear anything on both the Phil-Paul, the media, or the French TV. Having said that, Rather is making some good points too. Greipel had everything working his way down the stretch and Cav should be careful: it's the mark of a champion to hate losing, to be pissed, but there's a fine line and you don't want the guys to get offended and not give 100% for you. The Diva stuff can backfire...
HeadPack More than 1 year ago
Of course not. But I would not be so sure he never says anything negative *to* his team.
east_eight More than 1 year ago
Where did Cavendish say he was pissed off with his team mates? As far as keeping his mouth shut, what's he supposed to say when he's asked a question by a journalist? Refuse to comment or spout some anodyne rubbish?
dickmarl More than 1 year ago
Did you actually read what he said? If he said nothing then I'm fairly sure that there would be a queue of people saying what a poor loser he was. Instead he came out and gave an honest and fair appraisal of what happened along with plenty of, rightful, praise to Lotto and Greipel. All in all he sounded to me like someone who fully understands about taking the good with the bad.
Ratherbbikin1956 More than 1 year ago
"He vented his anger on the Omega Pharma-Quick Step bus, shouting loudly to let out his disappointment about the sprint and the pain of his crash." Perhaps it is my mistake, but I would assume his team was on the bus too listening to his rant.
mikeyb More than 1 year ago
well you clearly fill in the blanks for yourself, demonstrating a prejudiced view. safe to ignore this one ;-)
Ratherbbikin1956 More than 1 year ago
No prejudice whatsoever. I think Cav is certainly one of the great talents of his time. I would just like to see him show a little more grace and character when things don't go his way, be it bike, a crash, the weather, etc. congratulate the guy who won ( which he did) then go home, lick your wounds and figure out what you need to do do better next time.
Chris Jasmer More than 1 year ago
He was angry, as told on Velonews, at his bike. Apparently one of his new SRAM hydraulic brakes seized and he was screaming about the bike in the bus.
backofthepack More than 1 year ago
Cav always finds something to blame when he doesn't win. He's good at praising his teammates when he wins but equally good at criticizing something, or someone, when he loses. Today the bike, next time it will be a teammate or a competitor
barn yard More than 1 year ago
he is a sprinter. sprinters do this stuff. you will never win a sprint if you dont have that mentality. in this politically correct world there will be people, generally outsiders to the sport, who will say its poor behaviour. those on his team and those who know the sport completely understand this. it is what it is.
azureskies More than 1 year ago
Way to go Greipel!
bbbici More than 1 year ago
Well, Cav now knows what it has felt like for other Tour sprinters on at least 25 occasions.
peter16x More than 1 year ago
What a surprise :) ... to see Cav crying after race like we had today. Dont cry and show us tomorrow what you can... dude
TheDude More than 1 year ago
As my 6 year old says. This is a big-boy sport. No crying.
hilly76 More than 1 year ago
Cav will be alright. He has a moan and then just gets on with it. Has had plenty of falls so is as hard as nails. Unlike a well known other cyclist he does not cheat,blame everyone else when caught out or, bear grudges.
WindLessBreeze More than 1 year ago
Hats off ot Peto. W/O an specialized lead out, he just sticks
Chris Jasmer More than 1 year ago
Cav stinks? Most of his wins in the last year and a half have been without a leadout. Get your facts straight.
n085329 More than 1 year ago
Did you read windlessbreeze's comment, Chris? You clearly didn't understand it. He was talking about Peter Sagan (nick name 'Peto') not having a specialised train, but still sticking in the sprint.
G3K762mm More than 1 year ago
I took something different from the interview. I have to say I never liked Cav, but respected him. I remember Cav throwing a fit with Telekom (T-Mobile?) very early in his first Tour and I was like "what a precocious punk". Many, many times I have said it since, but you know what, he IS the fastest man in the world on almost occasion. Thing is, I was young once, too. Always had a temper and I have always hated to lose. Not comparing myself to Cav, but hating to lose is WHY he's great. When I read Holm's comments, I thought of how many times I've gotten pissed off, and two hours later, I end up apologizing and everything's good with the world again. I loved the fact he credited Greipel and found a new understanding & respect for Cav in my own way. I'll see him differently from now on.
backofthepack More than 1 year ago
I agree up to a point. He's not young anymore. by the time you get to 28 you should start growing up. If he was sagan's age, 23, I could forgive him more. I love watching him Sprint when he gets it right. Truly awesome to see. When he loses its like watching my 7 year old when his gameboy gets taken away
Ratherbbikin1956 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely agree, BOTP. Having a hissy fit and apologizing later will get old pretty quickly with teammates. The time to grow up has come. If you want loyalty from them, you better learn how to accept that you can't win them all.
dickmarl More than 1 year ago
Aren't you reading a little bit too much into this anger and shouting, which happened in the sanctuary of the team bus, in the immediate aftermath of the race, when emotions were still running high. We don't know that he was shouting at his team mates. I think that you should be paying a bit more attention to the slightly more reflective Cavendish that spoke to the press later.
Hamza J More than 1 year ago
Guys, if you are a fan of any sportsman anywhere in the world. He loses a game/race and he doesn't show appropriate emotion; what do you make of him/her? The best competitors are all like this. Please give this guy a break.
Hoo4ted More than 1 year ago
He was yelling in the team bus about not wanting this F..... specialized bike!
G3K762mm More than 1 year ago
Funny !!! He rode Specialized bikes while at HTC-Columbia in 2011 (his best season ever) to stage wins in the Giro, Tour de France, the Green Jersey and the World Championship. I guess THOSE wins were because of the bikes and not him then? Just silly.
Jim Rawson More than 1 year ago
Bikes don't win the race.... He won on Giant first then Scott. However Specialized "buys" their athletes. The bike industry jokes that hey are a marketing company 1st and bike company 2nd.
G3K762mm More than 1 year ago
Jim, couldn't you see the obvious tongue-in-cheek response? Of course it's Mark who gets it done, not the bike. My point was, jokingly, how can you have your best ever season on a particular brand of bike and two years later use it as an excuse for losing? Of course it is the rider who gets it done. The bike is window dressing, in most cases. I haven't seen anyone riding old crappy steel Huffy's since 7/11 back in the day, and they even won some races on those turds.
Dodge2000 More than 1 year ago
Unless said bike has a mechanical failure, like with the brakes, then you can be a bit angry with it. it doesn't have feelings so why not vent on tools of the trade. The fact a specialized didn't break on previous occasions is neither here nor there really
Jim Rawson More than 1 year ago
I got the tong in cheek comment. He can still win on Specialized but maybe not lot the current model was my point. Maybe he does not like the Venge and they require him to ride it. When it was introduced the "S" sponsored team riders said is was too in not compliant. Maybe it was the Sram brake or maybe the Venge is so rigid that when you hit bumps in corners the bike skips.
hmsgenoa More than 1 year ago
The lot of you (ex Mikey B and East eight)should know better by now - a Cavendish loss just spurs him on to greater efforts and more 1st places. If the boots were on the other feet, would Sagan or Greipel have got back on and managed 4th place, not sure if they would. I'd have to go back and play the stage but I don't think Greipel gave his team the kind of credit Cav does when they put him where he needs to be. Radios or not, you'd have thought one of the teammates would have realised Cav was not about. Did anyone see how happy Sagan was on the podium? He only wants to win to take the pee, whereas Cav wants to win because he wants to win, pure and simple. And had Argos Shimano just ridden next to the Omega train rather than squeezing them out (would Renshaw have allowed that?!) I think Cav would have pulled it off.
Ratherbbikin1956 More than 1 year ago
Cav is truly a great talent. One on one for 200 meters, he would out sprint them all. But as many a cyclist has said, they are not machines. You plan your work, then work your plan as the saying goes, but in a sport with as many intangibles as cycling, a lot of things don't go according to plan. Greipel, Henderson, and the Lotto team executed a well designed plan and won today. OPQS did not. If Cav expects perfection, he better be equally perfect. Some may think he is, but he is not. On many days he and his team get it right. But when they don't, get over it.
56Vikingtob More than 1 year ago
Given the distance he is towed by either the cars or his team I'm surprised that he isn't nicknamed Trailer.
Reg Oakley More than 1 year ago
I was amused by Sagan having a lean on the team car whilst the mechanic "worked" on the rear brake after a front wheel change. I am suprised that Campag, Shimano et al haven't managed to design a rear brake that doesn't need attention every time anything on the bike goes wrong.
Erik Jonsson More than 1 year ago
in any sort of debacle the handlebars gets twisted and the most sensetive cable to this is the rear brake wich quite often qets pulled to the left leaving one of the pads to rub
Reg Oakley More than 1 year ago
Thats not my experience on a number of bikes. If the brake is correctly installed and fastened it doesnt happen. Bit, it 'could' happen and is a good excuse for a tow for a while. Getting back to the original bit of sarcasm by 56viking~ I dont think Cavendish is any worse than any others in the peleton when it gets round to having a few easy moments.