Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins have been forced to pull out of Paris-Nice after becoming victims of the power struggle between the UCI and French race organisers ASO.
The two High Road riders were going to use the French stage race as final training for the track world championships but Pat McQuaid’s threats to ban any rider that sides with ASO and rides Paris-Nice has forced them to change their plans.
McQuaid has threatened to ban all the riders who start Paris-Nice and that could have meant Cavendish and Wiggins would be not be able to ride the track world championships in Manchester at the end of the month. In accordance with British Cycling and the High Road team, the two riders opted to side step the conflict even if it affects their final build-up.
Cavendish will now ride Tirreno-Adriatico after High Road changed their line-up to accommodate him in the Italian race, while Wiggins will now not ride another major race before the track world championships so he can fully recovered from the cold he picked up at the Tour of California.
Cavendish has already proved he is one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton and the Tirreno-Adriatico sprints but the young Brit will be up against Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) as all the best sprinters in the peloton come together for the first time in 2008.