Cavendish pulls out of Vuelta: "he had no power left"

Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage two

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

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Matt Goss first rider to abandon Vuelta

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Pro predictions: Who will win the Vuelta?

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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


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