Mark Cavendish unlikely to race in Vuelta a Espana after Tour de France crash

Mark Cavendish recovering from surgery to repair shoulder injury sustained on opening stage of Tour de France

Mark Cavendish is unlikely to race in the Vuelta a EspaƱa, according to his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, as he is still recovering from a crash on day one of the Tour de France.

“If he is on the home trainer tomorrow then maybe he’d have a small chance,” sports director, Brian Holm told Cycling Weekly, “but it’s going to be tricky if he’s off for two weeks.”

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Cavendish crashed on day one of the Tour in Harrogate, ruptured the ligaments around the AC-joint and separated his shoulder. He underwent surgery on Wednesday in Manchester to fix his ligaments.

“We don’t know when he can train again. It could be a few days off the bike,” Holm continued. “I think a few more days and he has to get over the pain.”

“First we have to be sure about his health, once we have an idea we can come up with a plan,” development manager, Rolf Aldag said. “There are not too many alternatives. It’s just a matter of when he can start, if we have that date, then it’s easy.”

Omega races two to three race programmes simultaneously during the year. After the Tour, it has two different paths that Cavendish could follow. One of its teams will race the Tour of Poland, the Eneco Tour, RideLondon-Surrey, Hamburg, Quebec and Montreal; and another would follow the Vuelta path. The Vuelta starts on August 23, in five weeks, and typically prepares many riders towards the World Championships.

“Would we send him to the Vuelta if the doctor says he can only start riding his bike the week before?” added Aldag. “That would be suicide.”

Aldag said that Cavendish will likely race again in 2014 just to get his legs moving and to maintain race rhythm. “He’s been World Champion, won 25 stages in the Tour, Classics, everything… He won’t just aim for a small 2.1 race.”