Mark Cavendish's rivals are out to “destroy” his Tour de France preparations, HTC-Columbia Directeur Sportif Valerio Piva has said. He accused others in the peloton of playing mind games with the Manx sprinter.
“The competition wants to destroy Mark Cavendish's Tour preparations,” Piva told sporza.be., because they are jealous of his six stage wins last year.
"There is a lot of jealousy in the peloton, because Mark won many races last year. They want to get at him mentally for the Tour," said the Italian. "The others make him out to be a devil."
“Incomprehensible,” Piva continued. “A few weeks before the Tour, and the others want to turn the screws on him.”
Piva also defended his rider's actions in the crash at the finale of the Tour de Suisse's fourth stage. “He backed off a bit from his line, but others did, too.”
He concluded that the Manx sprinter did not suffer any serious injuries. “We are not worried about his condition. It's just pain, nothing broken.