Italian sprinter Roberto Ferrari has responded to a tweet by Mark Cavendish, saying he is looking forward to beating the Manxman again in 2013 while riding for Lampre-Merida team on the UCI WorldTour circuit.
Cavendish has never forgiven Ferrari for sparking the high-speed crash during stage three of the Giro d'Italia in Denmark. The Italian cut across the road in the final kilometre, bringing down Cavendish, race leader Taylor Phinney and several other riders. Cavendish called for Ferrari to be disqualified from the Giro d'Italia but race officials let him stay and he went on to win stage 11 in Montecatini Terme.
Ferrari's apparent lack of genuine contrition has always irked Cavendish. Last week Cavendish tweet: "When I thought I could put this year's festival of sprint crashes behind me, I see Roberto Ferrari has signed for a WorldTour team next year."
Ferrari was asked about the tweet during an interview with Italian radio programme Ultimo Kilometro on Radio Manà Manà Sport.
"That's Cavendish's character. I'm not like that. As I've already said, I thought everything had been forgotten after the Giro d'Italia. At this point I can only hope to beat him again next year," Ferrari is quoted as saying by the Itasportpress.it website.
"I apologised to Cavendish back then and I thought it was all over with. I don't know if he as just being ironic or if he's serious. But you'd hope a rider has other things to think about during the off season rather than comment on another rider changing teams."
Ferrari rode for Androni Giocattoli this year but has signed with Lampre-Merida in 2013 and so will compete on the WorldTour circuit, alongside Alessandro Petacchi. He does not see the veteran Italian as a rival in the 2013 sprints and is happy to finally compete at the highest level of the sport.
"I'm not as good a sprinter as Alessandro [Petacchi] but if I have a good position, I can do something. I'm happy to lead out [Petacchi] in the sprints because I'm a team player. I don’t think they'll be problems between us because we raced for a year together (at LPR Brakes-Ballan) and so we know each other," Ferrari said.
"I hope to payback the Lampre team for the faith they've shown in me. I've finally managed to show what I can do after not racing very much and an important team made me a good offer. The team's first get together is in December and that's when we'll get to known each other and agree our race programmes."