Mark Cavendish hit out at comments made by team-mate André Greipel after the German suggested that he would have won Milan-San Remo had he been selected.
“I was pretty pi**ed with Greipel’s comments after San Remo,” Cavendish said in an interview with the The Guardian.
“If he thought he could win, he’d say it before the race rather than when he’s looking at the results sheet. It wasn’t through lack of form that I didn’t win San Remo – it was bad luck.”
Cavendish rode Milan-San Remo this year with the number one of defending champion on his back but struggled after crashing twice during the race.
“Last year I won it picking my nose. This year it was possible I’d win again. There’s no chance of Greipel winning a ‘Monument’. Me on bad form is still better than him,” Cavendish added in the first visible signs of discontent within the HTC Columbia ranks.
Cavendish was recently selected to ride the Tour of California instead of his preferred choice the Giro d’Italia – a race in which he won three stages last year – with Greipel taking care of sprinting duties in Italy.
Already divided between California and the Giro, any suggestion that the two sprinters could peacefully cohabit at Columbia was unequivocally quashed by the Manxman.
Riding on the same team, “is not a problem for me, because I’m a better rider,” Cavendish explained but as for both riders racing at the Tour de France, the Manxman commented: “there’s no chance whatsoever that he’s coming to a bike race with me.”
Hitting out at Greipel again, Cavendish added: “I understand that at the moment I’m racing to be in my best form for the Tour de France and the World Championships. If I wanted to get s**t small wins, I’d race s**t small races,” referring to Greipel’s three stage wins and the overall at the Tour Down Under.