Etixx-QuickStep clarify Cavendish’s Milan-San Remo chain problems

Aldag says dropped chain not related to Tirreno-Adriatico sprint issues

The Etixx-QuickStep team has told Cyclingnews that Mark Cavendish’s mechanical problem during Milan-San Remo was not the same as the problem the Manxman suffered during the sprint finish of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico in Cascina.

Immediately after the race, Cavendish suggested his chain came off “on the outside like in Tirreno, like it happened to Tom (Boonen) and a few guys this year.” Cavendish had to fight to get back up to the peloton after the problem and was then distanced on the Poggio. He finished in a chase group, 23 seconds behind winner John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin).

Rolf Aldag, the Sport and Development manager of the Etixx-QuickStep pointed out that Cavendish lost his chain while changing from the small chain ring to the big chain ring, while the Tirreno-Adriatico accident did not involve a gear change and occurred as Cavendish seemed to push on the pedals as he began his sprint.

“In my opinion it’s important not to confuse two different incidents,” Aldag said. “Cavendish was shifting up from the small chainring to the big chainring on the less steep road, close to the top of the Cipressa and for some reason his chain came off, it over shifted. He had to get the chain back on and chase but he had Julien Vermote with him to help him close the gap on the descent. He mentioned Tom Boonen having the same problem but Tom’s problem or Cav’s problem in Tirreno-Adriatico didn’t involve gear changes. It was something very different. We’re still investigating those but don’t have an answer yet.”

Aldag refused to blame the Etixx-QuickStep mechanic or the Shimano gears that the Etixx-QuckStep team is using this season. The Belgian team is currently using a combination of Shimano gears, FSA cranks and Power2max power meters. The team is expected to switch to FSA electronic groupsets later in the season when FSA completes the development of the new parts.

“Of course we know that even a gear-change chain jump should not happen but it can happen and in a race,” Aldag said.

Cavendish will be back in action at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday as one of the leader’s of the Etixx-QuickStep team along side Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin.

The Belgian team has sent the chainset and chain from the Tirreno-Adriatico incident to FSA’s headquarters in Taiwan for detailed analysis. Cavendish used an unmarked black chainring during Milan-San Remo.

Related Articles

Back to top