Cavendish Won't Participate in Vuelta a Espana 2014
The Omega Pharma-QuickStep team earlier today announced Mark Cavendish will not take part in this year's Vuelta a Espana.
Cavendish's crash in this year's Tour de France has led his team management to revise his racing schedule. The main goals for Cavendish this season will now be the 2014 Tour of Britain and the 2014 World Road Cycling Championships.
While Cavendish has worked hard to recover from the injuries he incurred in his crash in the Tour, his body still isn't sufficiently recovered to be able to compete in a three-week grand tour such as the Vuelta a Espana. Therefore, Cavendish is now scheduled to participate in the French Tour du Poitou Charentes (August 26th - 29th) followed by the Tour of Britain from September 7-14.
"Mark has proven that he’s worked very hard since his crash at the Tour de France," Omega Pharma-QuickStep sports director Rolf Aldag explained. "Just six weeks after his injury, he took part in the Tour de l’Ain and worked as an important supporting rider for his teammates, even though obviously he has understandably not yet reached his 100 percent peak condition."
"We really appreciated Mark’s behavior and his desire to get back into racing as soon as possible. Now we believe that Mark needs a further intermediate step, which will be the Poitou Charents, in order get some more competition kilometers into his legs and continue his progress of gradual re-entry into major competition. After the short French stage race, the plan is for Mark to line up for the start of the Tour of Britain with the aim of definitively rediscovering his race feeling by competing and trying to get good results," Aldag added.
"After the injury both myself and the team set a goal to get slowly back into a race environment at the Tour de l’Ain, which I’ve now completed," Cavendish explained to Roadcycling.com. "It was not an easy race for me because naturally my shoulder was still bothering me a little as it continues to get stronger each day."
"Now the next step is another shorter stage race at Poitou Charents. We will continue to monitor my condition week by week. Currently it’s impossible to know how I’ll be feeling each week considering the severity of the injury and the accelerated recovery time. One thing is for sure, I would like to be at the start for the Tour of Britain for another chance to race in front of British fans again this year, which holds lots of fond memories. My goal there will be to do the best I possibly can - depending on the condition I’m in at that point in time."