Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) has explained his reasoning behind an incident at the start of stage 19 of the Tour de France in which he shouted as a team mechanic before storming off and heading onto the team bus.
The British sprinter, who has strong hopes of beating Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France stage record of 34 victories in Paris on Sunday, was captured on camera giving out to the mechanic because of a problem with the front of his bike ahead of the stage to Libourne.
The incident was not only captured on camera but witnessed by fans who had come to the Tour in order to get a glimpse of the professional riders before the stage start.
Cavendish, a sprinter who wears his heart on his sleeve and is well known for his meticulous nature when it comes to equipment and his set-up, stopped short of a public apology and stated that 'we have now spoken'. He took to Instagram to add context around his outburst, and admitted that his frustrating reaction should not have taken place.
“Many of you will have seen the video from the start of today’s stage,” he wrote.
“During a day of the Tour de France, as riders we are put in a perilous situation and I wanted my bike to be perfect, in order to help me stay safe. My bike had some problems when I got on it this morning. Despite this, I should not have reacted in the way that I did and not so publicly.
“I've been extremely close friends with my mechanics for over a decade and they’ve worked tirelessly to ensure I’ve always been safe and successful. Although they know how short I can be when I'm stressed, no-one, especially those you care about, deserve to have a voice raised to them.
“Truly, one of the biggest factors of the success of Deceuninck-QuickStep is that we are a family, and we love and care for each other, and conversations should be kept within that family.”
“We have now spoken about what happened and as a group the Wolfpack will do our best to have a successful finish to the 2021 Tour de France.”
The post was accompanied with a picture of Cavendish and the mechanic that he berated both smiling.
Mark Cavendish, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/lls0NyJofMJuly 16, 2021
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