Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) was angry and disappointed after losing the leader?s yellow jersey at the Tour of Britain on Tuesday. He and his T-Mobile team struggled to control the attacks on the tough stage across Exmoor to Taunton and finished ten minutes down, slipping to 34th overall.
Cavendish survived on Porlock Hill overlooking the Bristol Channel but then the main field split on the barren summit of Watersmeet as they chased an attack and he was left struggling in the second half with team mates Roger Hammond and Frantisek Rabon who also missed the decisive move.
The 33 riders up front stayed clear, with Nikolai Trusov (Tinkoff) winning the stage and taking the overall lead. Australia?s Luke Roberts (CSC) finished second and is now second overall at eight seconds. Cavendish won the bunch sprint but was disappointed to have let down the T-Mobile team and angry at the tactics of the lesser-known British riders in the race.
?I feel I?ve let every one down and have to apologise to my team mates because they gave me everything they had. Unfortunately I didn?t make it in the front group,? Cavendish said.
?It was hard controlling the attacks with just five team mates. The British amateur teams have no respect for the professional riders and kept attacking us on the climbs. Daniel Lloyd was the first to attack and others followed him. It?s not against the rules but it?s not good racing etiquette and wrecked our chances of keeping the yellow jersey.?
Cavendish overall hopes disappeared on Exmoor but he was still determined to try and win another stage, starting with Wednesday?s 94.8-mile third stage from Worcester to Wolverhampton.
?The stage isn?t very hilly and hopefully it?ll end in a sprint. I hope I can win it and move up in the points competition. That?s my new objective after losing the yellow jersey.?
Tour of Britain: Trusov takes stage two
Cavendish celebrates tenth win in Southampton
Stage one: Cavendish wins again
Click here to view a gallery of photos from the Tour of Britain prologue
Cavendish: Surprised by prologue win
Cavendish wins Tour of Britain prologue
Tour of Britain 2007 preview
Official site: www.tourofbritain.co.uk.