Mark Cavendish wanted to race the Ghent Six-Day this week but team Omega Pharma-QuickStep told him to focus on the road.
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“We pay him to perform on the road, and he must fully concentrate on that,” the team’s General Manager Patrick Lefevere told Belgium’s Sporza TV. “On the first day of the Ghent Six-Day, two riders crashed. What if one of them had been Mark? Furthermore, track racing does not fit into his preparations for next season.”
Omega Pharma’s Niki Terpstra and Iljo Keisse race six-days. Terpstra says that the events help to improve leg speed and to keep indoors in the winter.
Racing toward the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio presents another problem. Cavendish would have to use British Cycling sponsored-gear, wearing Sky on his chest and ride a Pinarello.
“Our bicycle sponsor, Specialized makes a considerable effort for Cavendish so of course I do not want to see Mark on a black bicycle,” Lefevere added. “As long as we pay him, I do not want to see him on the track.”