Cavendish shivers over the mountains during season debut
Extreme conditions freeze out British riders
A wet and chilly start to Mark Cavendish's 2010 season began in Spain yesterday, as he turned team helper in stage one of the Tour of Andalusia.
The Isle of Man rider's sprinting skills were all but redundant on the four-hour battle over the mountains, so he spent much of the day between the team car and the pack, bringing up rain jackets and water for his team-mates.
Cavendish, whose start to the season was delayed due to dental treatment, crossed the mountain-top finish line of La Guardia de Jaen in 86th place, eight minutes down on winner Sergio Pardilla.
The rest of the field had it equally tough. When Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins crossed the line his fingers were so cold he had to get a team assistant to do up his jacket. His team-mate Steve Cummings, the best British finisher at 20th, was barely able to speak.