Mark Cavendish abandoned the Tour of Spain on Tuesday suffering from what his team sports director Jens Zemke described as “a total lack of energy, no power left in his body, just drained out.”

“We don’t know exactly what’s wrong with him, but he said he was so tired he could sleep in the teamcar if he stopped.”

“Something is not ok, we have to check what it is, see what’s possible for him to do in the rest of the season.”

“He had said he was ok, he was working for [team-mate] John Degenkolb the other day in a sprint, and he wanted to win one stage for himself.”

Although Cavendish has been struggling in the Tour of Spain’s extreme heat, and he lost time on yesterday’s stage to Totana, the HTC-Highroad rider still finished with the main peloton of dropped riders. Today though, he could not make it through.

“He got over the first climb of the day ok, and got a puncture on the descent. But he even struggled a bit to get back on there, told me he wasn’t feeling too good, and that wasn’t normal.”

“Then when he fought so hard, one hour later it [the effort] killed him.”

Apart from the heat being another big factor today – it was 43 degrees on the third category climb where Cavendish was dropped – Zemke pointed out that it has been a seriously long season for Cavendish.

In fact, Cavendish has raced for over 90 days this year so far, starting in the Tour Down Under, then Qatar and Oman and with starts in all three major Tours as well as the Tour de Suisse and Tirreno-Adriatico. And that’s just the stage races.

Related links

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news
Cavendish battles on in summer scorcher in Vuelta
Vuelta heads for first major showdown on Tuesday
Matt Goss first rider to abandon Vuelta
Team Sky’s TTT horror on troublesome course
Dan Martin confident and collected as Vuelta team leader
Pro predictions: Who will win the Vuelta?
HTC-Highroad’s reservations about TTT course
Vuelta team time trial start order
Sky plans early start for Vuelta team time trial recon
Wiggins looking to minimise losses in testing Vuelta TTT
Riders voice support for Hushovd over Vuelta exclusion
Cancellara late to Vuelta after being hospitalised by bee sting
Nibali back for victory again in 2011 Vuelta
Wiggins: “I’m in a great position going into the Vuelta”
Wiggins confirmed as Sky leader for the Vuelta
Freire: It’ll be tough in the Vuelta with Cavendish
Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Dan Martin to lead Garmin-Cervelo
Cavendish and Wiggins on provisional Vuelta start list
Climbers set to dominate in 2011 Vuelta
Millar on 2011 Vuelta: ‘Modern-looking and very challenging”
2011 Vuelta set to return to Angliru and Basque country
Angliru back in 2011 Tour of Spain
Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Martin to lead Garmin-Cervélo

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Teams, riders, start list
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Who’s riding?
Vuelta a Espana 2011 team list

Vuelta a Espana 2011
: Stage reports

Stage three: Lastras solos to stage and takes red jersey

Stage two: Sutton grabs stage win to set things right for Sky

Stage one: Leopard-Trek win opening TTT to put Fuglsang in front

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Photo galleries
By Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery

Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide

Vuelta a Espana 2011: ITV4 TV schedule

Vuelta a Espana 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

ITV to show 2011 Vuelta

 

  • Jasper

    Sorry Arronski, but that’s nonsense. He wanted to win a stage in Spain, doesn’t matter if the team is going to fold. And he wants to be in good shape for the worlds. Also look at the performance in the TTT, all these guys are still going for it. Most of them still need to impress because they have to find new teams too.

  • arronski

    I know he’s tired and hot, but think the riders have had enough with HTC… off to SKY …..Yes !!!