Mark Cavendish’s reaction to losing a sprint finish

Mark Cavendish can become a little bit furious when he loses a sprint finish. When he’s furious, he can seem like a bit of a knob. Today he took a reporter’s dictaphone after being asked whether he had caused a crash. It was a bit childish.

But don’t judge him too harshly. You don’t expect sense or reasonable behaviour from someone who’s just lost a fist fight and a sprint finish isn’t much different. Adrenaline is high and emotions smother reason.

Cavendish’s directeur sportif, Brian Holm, knows the score. The other day, after a different sprint loss, Holm said of Cav:

“I just heard him yelling in the bus. No-one can understand him when he’s yelling. I won’t speak to him. I’ll stay away.”

Holm’s policy is to pretend that Cavendish doesn’t exist for two hours after the finish and he only bothers trying to speak to him later on, when he’s getting a massage. This seems eminently sensible.

The collision

Cav was being particularly touchy, because he was waiting to be asked about a collision which saw Tom Veelers smeared across the road like a kind of Dutch rillettes.

Probably no-one was at fault. Veelers had finished his job and was slowing down, veering slightly to the right; Cavendish was coming past him and veering slightly to the left. Foreseeing the collision, Cavendish braced for it while Veelers didn’t and this kind of made it look like one person twatting another off their bike. In reality, Cavendish’s guilt simply comes from emerging on the right side of a ‘him or me’ situation.

The winner

Perhaps Veelers didn’t expect Mark Cavendish to be behind him. It wasn’t the best position. Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep team-mates had somewhat let him down in failing to drop him off where he could do his stuff.

Instead, Marcel Kittel won and he now has two victories compared to one each for Cavendish, Greipel and Sagan. Not bad for a lad who didn’t have much on his palmares bar a single stage of the Vuelta before this year’s Tour.

I can’t be bothered writing out the leaders of the points classification. Peter Sagan still leads Andre Greipel by loads. That’s all you really need to know.

An apology

It seems that videos I post within blog posts don’t actually appear within the daily email, so yesterday’s rest day update made little sense to most of you. For the sake of clarity, I was writing about this video.

Stage 11

Second of the stages where I said that general classification stuff would happen. It’s a medium length flat time trial. In theory, Chris Froome should gain further time on his main rivals and Tony Martin should win.