The big news from this morning’s Stage 4 of the Vuelta is the abandon of HTC’s Mark Cavendish. Apparently he was suffering a bit too hard to go on – yesterday’s tweet hinted as much but Cavendish is no stranger to riding himself in shape over the first few days of a Grand Tour.
There are a few possible explanations for Cavendish’s abandon: This year’s Vuelta could be just a bit too challenging for him, as it’s loaded up front with some difficult days. He could be uncommitted to any further success while wearing HTC’s colors, as the team is folding after this season. Or, he could be displeased with his role at the Vuelta – on Stage 2 he was the leadout man for teammate John Degenkolb, and after having won a basketfull of stages and the Green Jersey at the Tour, could feel like the Vuelta is small potatoes. After all, he’s the sprinter version of Lance Armstrong – the only wins worth winning are the biggest and best.
This puts a serious dent in his preparation for the World Championships in late September. Riders and pundits say that the flattish course in Copenhagen favors sprinters. Were Cavendish’s rainbow stripe ambitions ever serious? Or is this a major setback to a serious goal?
And what do you all think were his reasons for abandoning the Vuelta?
Share your thoughts below.