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Sprinter withdrawn for "inappropriate behaviour" following Thursday's stage win...

HTC-Columbia withdrew Mark Cavendish from the Tour de Romandie on Friday evening, citing the cyclist’s “inappropriate actions” following his victory in Stage 2 of the race on Thursday, which he won.

Cavendish gave the V-sign as he crossed the line to clinch only his second win of the season, and later said that he had made the gesture in response to critics who “know jack shit about cycling” and who he believes had written off him and the HTC-Columbia team following a disappointing start to the season, partly caused by an infection following dental treatment.

According to a report on the Guardian website, HTC-Columbia issued a statement following Friday’s time trial, in which Cavendish finished in 139th position, saying that the Manx rider had been "taken out of the Tour de Romandie at the conclusion of today's stage, as a result of his inappropriate actions after winning stage two of the race on Thursday."

Cavendish himself also claimed that he regretted his actions, saying “I want to publicly apologise for the gesture I made on the finish line of the Tour de Romandie yesterday. I did want to make a statement to my critics but I realise that making rude gestures on the finish line is not the best way to do that.”

He continued: “I apologise to everybody watching the race and especially the kids. I am not proud of releasing the feelings in that way. I hope I can redeem myself and show my feelings and passion for cycling with some exciting results in the next couple of months, rather than with a gesture such as the one yesterday."

The UCI fined Cavendish for his behaviour, in a move endorsed by his team, which said: “High Road Sports [the team’s licence holder] agrees with the individual fine issued by the UCI commissaires today and in addition will direct payment of Cavendish's prize money from his stage win to the international charity Right To Play."

Since finishing the 2009 season early when he withdrew from September’s Tour of Missouri with a lung infection that also kept him out of the World Road Race Championships in Mendrisio, Cavendish has not only had to deal with the aftermath of his dental surgery, but also the distraction of problems involving two of those closest to him.

Those are the near-fatal scooter accident in September to close friend and fellow Manxman Jonny Bellis on his way back from an evening at Cavendish’s home, and the jailing for six years of his brother Andrew a fortnight ago, who was found guilty of importing cocaine and cannabis to the Isle of Man with intent to supply.

Meanwhile, Cavendish has also had a public falling-out with team-mate and fellow sprinter André Greipel, who this week has been reported in the German press to have announced his intention to leave HTC-Columbia at the end of the season.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

12 comments

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wild man [297 posts] 6 years ago
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Couldn't he just have claimed his salute was Churchillian?

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demoff [327 posts] 6 years ago
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Don't see the point of pulling him out on Friday after he had raced another stage.

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Simon_MacMichael [2452 posts] 6 years ago
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demoff wrote:

Don't see the point of pulling him out on Friday after he had raced another stage.

Wouldn't want to speculate too much on anything Cav-related for obvious reasons  3

But with team being based in California, and the race in Switzerland, I wonder if inevitable time delays between management/lawyers/PR may have been reason for decision not being finalised till Fri PM?

[comment edited - race in Switzerland, not California, of course!]

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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I don't see how it would have offended the Americans. The two-fingered salute isn't a recognised gesture on that side of the pond.

Oh, and the two stages he misses aren't Cav friendly - they're too lumpy.

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Chuffy [201 posts] 6 years ago
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Maybe this has little or nothing to do with his victory V and more to do with the team management giving him a subtle hint that he should stop behaving like an arrogant, chippy prick.  39

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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I like Cav as he is. You need his attitude to win bunch sprints.

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Chuffy [201 posts] 6 years ago
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No you don't. Plenty of other sprinters win without being as unpleasant as him.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 6 years ago
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Still an arrogant immature rider. Will he ever grow up?

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demoff [327 posts] 6 years ago
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ChifChaf, Cav is arrogant but I wouldn't say he was unpleasant and Ned Boulting should refrain from sticking a mic in his face straight after a finish.

Given his personality I think he is an easy go to for the media. 'Lets wind Cav up he'll give us a story'

Whats wrong with a bit of confidence? No one has said anything about Brailsford and Sky shouting the odds about what they were going to do you could say they were cocky and arrogant. So far they have won a Semi Classic big licks.

Cav's a bit cocky so what, I would'nt have him any other way he's a race winner.

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Chuffy [201 posts] 6 years ago
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demoff wrote:

ChifChaf

Hmmm, do I know you?  3

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Cav is arrogant but I wouldn't say he was unpleasant and Ned Boulting should refrain from sticking a mic in his face straight after a finish.

I would and the old 'mike in the face' routine is par for the course for absolutely every other sportsman on the planet. Why should Cav be any different?

Quote:

Given his personality I think he is an easy go to for the media. 'Lets wind Cav up he'll give us a story'

Other way round. Just let him talk and he'll deliver the story. He has no manners, self-control or respect. He's an easy mark because he makes himself one.

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Cav's a bit cocky so what, I would'nt have him any other way he's a race winner.

So are Cooke, Hoy, Cancellara, Contador, Pendelton, Hushovd, Freire, shall I go on? Not one of them has 1% of the obnoxious arrogance that Cav has, but they all have pretty impressive palmares. Being a winner does not oblige you to be an arrogant cock, nor does it excuse you if you are.

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antonio [1124 posts] 6 years ago
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Judith Arndt made an equally offensive,(to some), gesture, after world champs,don't remember her being put to the sword by the media.

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demoff [327 posts] 6 years ago
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Hey Chuffy just imagine what he is going to be like when he wins the World Championship. He will have some confidence then.

I know he is not everyones cup of tea but I love Cav his confident arrogance included.

Nice piece in the Telegraph which sort of sums things up.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/mark-cavendish/7668...