Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) has withdrawn from the Tour de Pologne ahead of the Commonwealth Games road race this weekend.
The 37-year-old completed the first five stages of the race, although has now pulled out of the action in order to prepare for the commonwealth Games road race on 7 August. Cavendish will be competing for the Isle of Man in the race around Warwick, an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.
Cavendish said: “I’m sorry to leave the boys & the race, but at the same time I’m looking forward to racing for the Isle of Man at this great event, and I want to thank the team for their support.”
Cavendish’s appearance at the Tour de Pologne marked his first competitive outing in the British national champion’s jersey, which he won in June. The Manx sprinter was then left out of the Tour de France with Patrick Lefevere then revealing that his time is up at the Belgian team.
Cavendish typically would represent Great Britain in any form of international competition, although the Commonwealth Games sees individual nations split up into different groups. This means that on Sunday, the Manxman will come up against the likes of Fred Wright of Team England and Geraint Thomas of Team Wales.
The road race at the games takes place around the town of Warwick, and the route will very much mean that Cavendish will be expected to challenge for the gold medal.
The British National Champion did not enjoy any success during the racing in Poland. Cavendish placed a disappointing eighth and tenth in the first sprint stages and showed no sign of any upturn in form.
His next racing action for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl is yet to be confirmed, and the Belgian squad announced earlier this morning that they have completed the signing of sprinter Tim Merlier from Alpecin-Deceuninck.
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