Mark Cavendish says that his crash at Nokere Koerse was an ‘amateur mistake’ that saw him drop out of contention for the race win.
Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was in the main group of favourites with six kilometres to go before clipping the back wheel of another rider on the final cobbled sector, causing him to crash and leaving him in a heap on the floor.
Luckily, he suffered no injuries of note and rode in with a team-mate in 84th place, nearly six minutes behind the winner Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles).
In an interview for Sporza, where Cavendish was watching a replay of his fall, said: “I love it. Honestly, that was a full-on race today.
“It was my own fault. I just caught the lip of the cobblestones and I went down. It’s just something that happens. Which is just an amateur mistake. If someone else did it, you just laugh at them, really,”
While it was the first time that the ‘Manx Missile’ had ridden Nokere Koerse, he had taken on the Nokereberg finish before in other races. He said in an Instagram post: “Pure, start to finish racing.”
This was his fourth race of the season where his performances have looked encouraging, with his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team helping him the best they can.
He got a late puncture at the Clásica de Almería before coming 24th at hellish Belgian semi-Classic, Le Samyn. He then managed to put in a very impressive sprint to take second behind Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) at GP Monseré and then his late crash ruled him out at Nokere Koerse.
The former world champion looks in good form despite the mishaps, but it approaching three years since his last victory. Cavendish is amazed that this even makes the headlines.
“It’s been a while since I’ve won. I think it’s still kind of headlined if I don’t win, which is a bit absurd to be honest because 95 per cent of the peloton do not win a race in their life. I take it as a compliment.”
Cavendish’s next race is Friday (March 19) at Bredene Koksijde Classic where he faces the likes of Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe).