Interviewing Mark Cavendish is never easy after he has lost a race. He is as competitive and aggressive when he sits in a hotel lobby as he is trying to come back up to the front and make the most of another hectic sprint in the Dubai Tour.
Even the suggestion that he somehow ‘lost’ Thursday’s second stage rankles him. In truth, he was unable to produce his best sprint on the edge of the Jumeirah Palm because of a dangerous move by a rider inside the final kilometre and then he was pushed off Andrea Guardini’s wheel by CCC Sprandi rider Grzegorz Stepniak. He gave the Polish rider a head-butt in frustration but could only finish 10th on the stage.
Even Bradley Wiggins suggested that he has put a lot on his plate but admits that perhaps only Cavendish can have a successful season on the track and the road, all while riding for a new team, after two seasons hit by shoulder injuries, transfer talk and a stream of criticism.