The British sprinter, winner of four stages in this year’s Tour, was having problems with his bike at the start of stage 19 of the race and was filmed venting his frustration while in front of fans outside the team bus in Mourenx.
Mark Cavendish, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/lls0NyJofMJuly 16, 2021
Video of the moment emerged on social media, with cycling fans weighing on whether Cavendish’s reaction was justified.
Cavendish, who looks set to win the green jersey in Paris on Sunday (July 18), shared a post on Instagram responding to the video, explaining his reaction but falling short of an apology.
The 36-year-old said: “Many of you will have seen the video from the start of today’s stage.
“During a day of the Tour de France, as riders we are put in a perilous situation and I wanted my bike to be perfect, in order to help me stay safe.
“My bike had some problems when I got on it this morning. Despite this, I should not have reacted in the way that I did and not so publicly. I've been extremely close friends with my mechanics for over a decade and they’ve worked tirelessly to ensure I’ve always been safe and successful. Although they know how short I can be when I'm stressed, no-one, especially those you care about, deserve to have a voice raised to them.
“Truly, one of the biggest factors of the success of Deceuninck - Quick-Step is that we are a family, and we love and care for each other, and conversations should be kept within that family.
“We have now spoken about what happened and as a group the 'Wolfpack' will do our best to have a successful finish to the Tour de France.”
A post shared by Mark Cavendish (@markcavendish) (opens in new tab)
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Cavendish has been back to his best in at this year’s Tour, after battling through illness, injury, mental health problems, and fearing for the premature end of his career last year.
Having not won a stage of the Tour since 2016, Cavendish has dominated the sprints in this year’s race, making history by matching the record number of stage wins in the Tour, previously held by Eddy Merckx on 34.
Speaking after his 34th sprint victory in Carcassonne on stage nine, Cavendish said: “For me, this is just another stage win on the Tour de France. It feels the same as the first one. I still don’t realise this is a special one because of the record. Just a kid’s dream comes true after a lot of hard work. If one of my victories can inspire ten children to take on cycling and maybe race the Tour de France on the future, that’s what will matter the most to me."
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