Team Columbia has confirmed that Mark Cavendish will not continue in the Giro d?Italia when the race heads into the Apennine mountains on Saturday?s 14th stage.

After winning his third stage in Florence on Friday, Cavendish said he would talk to the Team Columbia management and decide together whether to continue.

Just after eight o?clock, the team issued a statement confirming that Cavendish would not continue in the Giro.

?He has had a very successful couple of weeks at the Giro but he is still young and he has a long career ahead of him,? commented Team Manager Rolf Aldag.

?He has already raced 55 days this year and it is our view that the best thing for Mark is to take some recovery now before the Tour.?

In the absence of Cavendish, Team Columbia will focus on overall success with Michael Rogers and Thomas Lovkvist, while Edvald Boasson Hagen is expected to take over sprinting duties in the final stages of the Giro.

Tour de France in Cavendish’s sights
During the post-race press scrum, Mark Cavendish was pressed about if he will continue in the Giro after his third win.

He has huge respect for the Giro and suffered to finish last year but he and Team Columbia know there are plenty of reasons for not continuing in this year?s Giro. The next four stages are all in the Apennines mountains and the only remaining stage for the sprinters is in Benevento next Thursday. Hanging on in the hope of winning there would do far more damage than good to his winning speed.

It is highly likely that Cavendish will pull out of the Giro, take a short break and then begin building up for the Tour De France by riding the Tour of Switzerland in June.

?I?d like to carry but I?m going to sit down with team and decide what to do,? he said in the after race press conference.

?There could be a sprint near the end of the Giro but I don?t think it?s likely that I?ll be there because it?s better for riders who are all-rounds. I want to carry on as long as possible but I?ve got other objectives for myself and the team. We?ll sit down, talk and discuss the situation.?

Because he may pull out of this year?s Giro, Cavendish was asked if he had now become less emotive about his cycling and more of a professional. He responded that he is a total professional because he loves cycling so much.

?I think the reason I?m so professional in what I do is that I love the sport and everything about it. I love to race,? he said.

?It pains a rider not to go the start. I?m not the only rider suffering; there are 200 riders who are tired. Sometimes pride can take over logic but I?ve got to look at both sides and considered my options. Nobody wants to stop but I was 24 only yesterday and I want to have a long career, so we have to see what happens about the rest of the race. The Tour de France is in five, six weeks time. I?ll be going there to hopefully put on a good show.?

A good show means more sprint victories and a determined attempt to win the green points jersey. Cavendish has achieved the goal he set himself for this Giro. Now it is time to get ready for the next big goal.

Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports
Stage 13: Cavendish takes his third Giro win and prepares to head home
Stage 12: Menchov storms to Giro TT win and race lead
Stage 11: Cavendish romps to second Giro stage win
Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet
Giro rest day review (May 18)
Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan
Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries
Stage 13 photo gallery
Stage 12 photo gallery
Stage 11 photo gallery
Stage 10 photo gallery
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery
Desktop wallpaper photos

Menchov’s first pink jersey (Stage 12)
Wiggins: ‘I went too hard at the start’ (Stage 12 TT)
Lance and Levi: Ready for Giro time trial
Cavendish: ‘Today brought back memories of San Remo’ (stage 11)
Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?
Wiggins loses time in the Giro (stage 10)
Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest
How are the Giro favourites doing?
Cavendish says ‘I’m addicted to winning’
Riders stage go-slow protest during Giro stage in Milan
Cavendish cool before Milan sprint
No sympathy for Armstrong from Giro boss
Boasson Hagen celebrates his birthday early
Cavendish overjoyed for Boasson Hagen
Armstrong ‘livid’ at dangerous Giro stage
Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages
Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink
Giro news round-up: 14 May
Wiggins: ‘I can’t keep smashing away on the climbs’
Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall
Armstrong after Giro stage 5: ‘That was hard’
Cavendish looking for Giro revenge
Armstrong happy with stage four performance
Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead
Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team
Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash
Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey
Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav
I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish
Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial
Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up
Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction
Brits in Venice for Giro presentation
Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation
Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana
Armstrong working to save Astana team
Wiggins in top form for Giro
Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener
Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled
Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride
Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia
Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie
David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro
Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice
Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride
Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro
Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route
Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey

2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview
British riders to have led the grand tours
CW’s Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia

2008 Giro d’Italia archive
Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race
Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special
Five days to go, what’s in store?
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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