Mark Cavendish is rarely satisfied with third place in a sprint and occasionally vents his anger on whoever is near him after when he crosses the finish. However after taking third behind Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Team) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the edge of the Palm Jumeirah, Cavendish was keen to point out the reason behind his placing in the Dubai Tour.
He lifted his bike with disappointment, pushing his flat tubular against the carbon fibre rim with his finger.
"I hit a pot hole. I went 'bang' in the hole. What am I supposed to do in a sprint like that…" he asked gradually finding consolation in his result. "Third is not bad though. I just couldn't pass, I couldn't do anything. Shit happens, doesn't it?" he added.
"I've had a late flat a few times in sprints. I was second in the last stage of the Vuelta in 2010, with my wheel touching the frame. Even on this stage I've finished with a flat tyre in the past. It's part of bike racing. It's just what happens."
Cavendish gradually came round to seeing the positive side to his day. His Dimension Data teammates produced an excellent lead out train and Cavendish was perfectly placed on Kittel's wheel in the final three hundred metres.
"It's the best result I've ever had on this stage," he pointed out after suffering in previous editions of the same finish.
"The guys did really well. We were super strong. Scott (Thwaites) was wicked, young Ryan (Gibbons) was amazing, he was superb, and then Mark Renshaw shepherded me.
"They also did some long stints into that wind that was really good. We missed van Rensburg, so we were one man down. I don't know where he was. He came up in the end but it was too late then."
Cavendish explained why Dimension Data did not hit the front late like Quick-Step Floors did.
"Because we haven't got six-foot Belgians; we've got guys who think and ride to just that power," he said.
"I wanted to be on Kittel's wheel. When a team comes up late and has the whole team, it's probably the best lead out you can have. But when the sprint started I just couldn't stand up in the sprint. I could feel the tyre hard on the rim. The Dutch lad came up on along the side and I rather let him in, than crash. In a situation like that, I'm quite happy."
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