Despite a rough ride through the Pyrenees, Mark Cavendish has no intention of quitting the Tour.
It?s Tuesday morning at the rest day in Pau and as he sits in the sunshine outside his hotel, Cavendish looks tired. No doubt about that. The evidence of yesterday? s crash is visible, too – a large white bandage covering his right elbow.
But as he told Cycling Weekly before setting off for a couple of hours training with his Columbia team-mates, he?s got no intention of quitting.
?I?ll just take this on the day by day, see how it goes. I am a bit tired – but yesterday wasn?t easy.?
Cavendish crashed and was injured early on, in the first hour?s racing – just as the other teams were winding things up to chase down an early break.
He then got dropped from the grupettto at the foot of the Tourmalet and rode the whole of the rest of the stage with another injured Columbia team-mate, Bernhard Eisel and Italian sprinter Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas). In the end, the Briton finished last on the stage, 34-55 down.
?The crash happened when I hit a football that was lying in the road, went down, span round, hurt my right elbow and left knee.? Cavendish explained.
?The elbow?s got a deep cut in it, and on top of that the painkiller the race doctor gave me gave me an upset tummy.?
?It was a long, hard day, although I?ve had worse ones in the Giro. We did some calculations to see if we?d make the cut, but it was close.?
?Really we just kept going. If we were going to make the cut then great, and if we didn?t then tough.?
When he reached the finish line at Hautacam, 35 minutes after stage winner Leonardo Piepoli had crossed the line, the first thing he did was give Bernhard Eisel a big hug.
?I was really pleased that he had managed to make it.?
So now what for Cavendish on the rest day? ?Train, lunch, a massage, then some time with my fiancé.?
And for the stages coming up? ?There?s maybe three chances of a sprint this week – on the Thursday, the Friday and perhaps even the Saturday.?
?Further down the road, there?s the stage before the final time trial and of course the stage into Paris.?
No doubt about it, Cavendish?s Tour, then, is far from over.
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage 10: Evans takes yellow jersey by one second
Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees
Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse
Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage
Stage six: Ricco storms to win
Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win
Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead
Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break
Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint
Stage one: Valverde wins
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS|
Analysis: Tour de France rest day summary
Cavendish battles through Pyrenees
Evans suffers but takes yellow jersey [stage 10]
Analysis: Hautacam shakes up 2008 Tour
Ricco silences critics with solo attack in Pyrenees
Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]
Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders
David Millar: the dope controls are working
Manuel Neltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour
Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit
Doping back in Tour de France headlines
Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]
Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]
Millar to go for yellow [stage six]
Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]
Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win
Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]
Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]
Who is Romain Feillu?
Cavendish disappointed with stage two result
Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey
Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?
Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec
Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win
Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: BLOGS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE|