Mark Cavendish’s early season mechanical problems have led to a shift to a Dura-Ace chainset
Cavendish’s Etixx – Quick-Step team is supplied with components by FSA and in early season races up until his crash in the sprint finish of the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico he was running the team issue mechanicals including FSA cranks and chainrings.
By stage four of Tirreno-Adriatico and in Milan-San Remo he had switched to a SRAM chainring with the logos blacked out, but lost his chain to the outside again in Milan-San Remo on the penultimate climb of the Cipressa. Cavendish’s comments at the time suggested that other Etixx – Quick-Step riders, including Tom Boonen, had had the same problem.
More recently, in Gent-Wevelgem and at the Tour of Turkey, Cavendish has been spotted running a Shimano Dura-Ace chainset and also seems to have switched power meter from the Power2Max of earlier races. Power2Max is another Etixx – Quick-Step sponsor, but does not offer a Shimano option for its meter.
We guess that the strong willed Cavendish has dug his heels in and reverted to a set-up which has previously worked for him and which he has greater confidence will bring him race victories. In 2014 and 2013 Omega Pharma – Quick-Step were using SRAM Red mechanicals, so this looks like a configuration which Cavendish last raced during 2012 when he was with Team Sky.
Note also that his shoes bear a Nike flash, although his cvndsh website still promotes the Specialized S-Works shoes which he has worn in previous years.
Cavendish is clearly not afraid to rock the sponsorship boat in his quest for further palmarès.