Cavendish recovers from "dog days"

Mark Cavendish (High Road) victorious in De Panne

Mark Cavendish (High Road) victorious in De Panne (Image credit: AFP)

Team High Road's Mark Cavendish blasted his way to the win in the second stage of Driedaagse De Panne , coming seemingly out of nowhere to win the mass sprint by several bike lengths, in a way which directeur sportif Alan Peiper called "incredible". But the 22 year-old Manxman seems to have a series of ups and downs in his performance.

"In the Tour of California, he had a problem with his fitness. He couldn't get over any mountains," Peiper told the belga press agency. "The next da, he is great. You can never underestimate him."

Cavendish's inconsistency continued in De Panne. "Tuesday, he lay on the massage table worrying about his dog. The animal is eleven years old and poorly off. He said he could not think of riding," revealed Peiper. Obviously, Cavendish was able to clear his head of his worries before the sprint finish on Wednesday.

"We have a lot of work to do with him on the team. We must guide him, but he is thankful for that," Peiper concluded.

De Panne was Cavendish's first road victory this year, but it followed his gold medal in the Madison with High Road team-mate Bradley Wiggins in the Track World Championships in Manchester.

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