Mark Cavendish looked out of the window from the team’s hotel in Mantova, Italy, today and breathed a sigh of relief. The Danish stages are over and he’s back in one of his favourite countries, albeit with some scratches and road rash.
The World Champion rode with his Sky team-mates for about two hours in the late morning. They tested their Pinarello Graal time trial bikes and formation ahead of tomorrow’s 33.2-kilometre team time trial in Verona.
He stood out from his team-mates in their black and blue kits due to his rainbow jersey and bandages covering his left side. Yesterday, in the final 250 metres, he was knocked off his bike by rival sprinter Roberto Ferrari (Androni).
Race leader, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) also came down and suffered cuts to his right ankle. Cavendish was checked by the team’s doctors and Phinney by the Verona hospital staff, both were given the OK to race tomorrow.
Cavendish wants to help the team win the leg in Verona and put Geraint Thomas in the leader’s pink jersey. By doing so, he’d set himself up for the pink jersey the next day in Fano. Stage winners are awarded a 20 second time bonus, with 12 and 8 seconds going to second and third.
Thomas trails Phinney by nine seconds, Cavendish trails by 27 seconds.
“He’s had a few big spills in his time, he knows how to recover. The rest day will help him,” Thomas told Cycling Weekly yesterday. “He’ll be able to put it right on the next sprint day. Plus, he wants to do well in the time trial.”
Two years ago, Cavendish crashed in the Tour de France’s first leg to Brussels. Though it was not as serious, he bounced back to win four days later.
Sky plans more training tomorrow on the actual course, which will be closed in the morning. The team’s nine riders start at 16:16 local time.
Cycling Weekly will be covering the team time trial with live and interactive text updates throughout the afternoon on Wednesday, brought to you in association with Chain Reaction Cycles.
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