It's a different kind of Tour, says Cav before big crash (+ video)

Girlfriend Peta Todd doesn't hold back after watching him crash

by Sarah Barth   July 5, 2012  

Mark Cavendish MSR 2012 (© Simon MacMichael)

Mark Cavendish's hopes of a 22nd Tour de France stage win were derailed when he was caught up in a late crash at the end of stage four yesterday, not long after Team Sky sponsor Shimano posted this video where he implied his early win signalled a 'different' kind of Tour this year.

"It usually takes me a few days to get into the groove, and that's with a team structured round me," says Team Sky's Cav, who in some previous years has taken a few days to nail a win. "It's going to be the whole Tour de France a bit different for me this year."

The Manxman, who was named for the Olympic road race team yesterday, along with Wiggins, Millar, Stannard and Froome, stormed to his 21st stage victory on Monday in Tournai, but he and his colleague Bernhard Eisel were among a number of riders brought down in a mass pile-up with 2.7 kilometres remaining yesterday.

He also alludes to the demands of taking on a Tour back to back with an Olympics, saying: "Usually I do a Tour and I'm finished for a while, you know, but this year, six days after, we have the Olympic road race.

"It's a course that could suit us as a team... So I've had to focus my training around being able to sustain it for a week longer than normal."

Cav eventually made a dazed and slow crossing of the finish line after his crash, his shredded jersey hanging off, but it doesn't seem to have caused serious damage. The fact that teammate Bradley Wiggins managed to hang onto his second place on general classification will have improved Cav's mood too. For the full race report, click here.

Team Sky doctor Alan Farrell gave an encouraging update on the condition of both Cavendish and Eisel following the stage, saying: "Both Cav and Bernie had heavy crashes but luckily all their injuries seem relatively superficial and there are no broken bones.

"We are just taking them back to the hotel for further assessment and to look after their wounds but we are very hopeful in terms of the prognosis and outlook."

Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director said:  “It was certainly not what we wanted to see.

"The lead-up to a sprint is very dangerous and we see this kind of thing time and time again. Nobody wants to see crashes for anybody and we were among the victims again today.

“There wasn’t a lot of room there in the bunch. At that speed with a touch of wheels, before you know it you are lying on the deck. The guys are battered and bruised but they will fight on. These guys are tough. We saw Cav jump back up after his accident at the Giro.

“Up to that point the day had been relatively straight forward and a lot calmer than yesterday. But it’s never over until it’s over. The crash was inside the 3km and so the rule applies and Bradley held station on the GC.”

Cavendish's girlfriend Peta Todd didn't hold her feelings back on Twitter, writing:

"And that is what happens when you take a a man that is so harshly marked to the tour without protection.

"This is peoples lives. If you haven't got the intention of making sure you have the team to look after the World Champ. Don't just wing it. He is just a man."

The tweets were subsequently deleted, and she wrote:

"not attacking any1 sky is an incredible team,1 i support fiercely bt this is my family &risks need 2 b addressed"

She later posted a more upbeat message, saying: "Its like @TeamSky are made of rubber ... bouncing back 'left-right-and-centre' all men ready for stage 5"

Up ahead André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) claimed the victory ahead of Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano).

 

18 user comments

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Peta Todd needs to shut it! Devil

2 wheels please!

posted by mancsi [119 posts]
5th July 2012 - 6:06

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mancsi wrote:
Peta Todd needs to shut it! Devil

well, she's entitled to an opinion. preferred her earlier tweets to the later ones!

posted by step-hent [622 posts]
5th July 2012 - 7:40

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She has every right to be concerned but the tumbles come with the job, at which he's very good, it also gives them a lifestyle not afforded by ballroom dancing.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [866 posts]
5th July 2012 - 7:52

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step-hent wrote:
mancsi wrote:
Peta Todd needs to shut it! Devil

well, she's entitled to an opinion. preferred her earlier tweets to the later ones!

Sorry yes, I agree with her. Team sky dont know what theyre doing! They should be protecting Cav, forget yellow!

2 wheels please!

posted by mancsi [119 posts]
5th July 2012 - 8:25

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How embarrassing.

posted by Nick T [388 posts]
5th July 2012 - 8:34

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mancsi wrote:
step-hent wrote:
mancsi wrote:
Peta Todd needs to shut it! Devil

well, she's entitled to an opinion. preferred her earlier tweets to the later ones!

Sorry yes, I agree with her. Team sky dont know what theyre doing! They should be protecting Cav, forget yellow!

Isn't it more a question of whether they should have put Cav in there at all? If you REALLY want to go all out for yellow, shouldn't you leave him at home, and take another domestique to look after Wiggo?

I'm not saying I agree with her - after all, if you gave Cav the choice about riding on his own or not at all, I'm sure he'd take riding on his own every time. All I'm saying is that it's more interesting when people share a genuine opinion than a boring, commercially driven statement about how much they love the team.

posted by step-hent [622 posts]
5th July 2012 - 8:44

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I know, I understand where your coming from. I just think criticising the team is the wrong way to go. He is fine jumping from other trains and we all know he can win. I reckon Cav was on the phone to her at the finish, telling her 'Get those bloody tweets deleted!!!!!'

2 wheels please!

posted by mancsi [119 posts]
5th July 2012 - 8:49

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Well Cav might have only 1 team-mate covering him, but, courtesy of twitter:

"@KarstenKroon: Seconds after the massive pileup with 2k to go: Eisel: "Who's fault was that!" Farrar:" Fuck it was you Bernie!" Oops."

As Antonio said though, tumbles come with the job. I'm more bothered by the fact that twice in two days, Evans has been on the right side of the split, and Wiggins on the wrong side. Once one of these happens outside the 3km zone, that's putting the GC hopes in jeopardy. Or worse, injuring riders that are critical to both the tour and Olympics.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2416 posts]
5th July 2012 - 8:58

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notfastenough wrote:
I'm more bothered by the fact that twice in two days, Evans has been on the right side of the split, and Wiggins on the wrong side

Should Sky have brought more classics mean with them? That seems to be BMC's approach. But then Sky wouldn't be able to nail it in the mountains - Evans showed last year he can cope in the mountains even when he's isolated, but Sky's tactics wouldn't work if their mountains team was just a couple of men.

Maybe it's just that Wiggo isn't being vigilant enough - he should sit right on Evans' wheel for the last 20k. Like Cav, Wiggo is also a track rider and can move around a bunch, so perhaps he just needs to be paying more attention.

posted by step-hent [622 posts]
5th July 2012 - 9:30

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I think people are being a bit premature with the doom and gloom about positioning and crashes.

Wiggo is not daft and he knows where he has to be as do his team mates. Cav was unfortunate with the crash but when you look at where it happened (just inside the 3k mark) his team would not normally be lining him up for the sprint merely getting into place and that crash could have brought down a whole team not just the 2 yesterday

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

posted by stumps [2210 posts]
5th July 2012 - 9:40

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Hope you're right Step-hent and Stumps. I'll be so chuffed to be reading too much into this. It's also a fair point about the Classics comment - much has been said about Sky bringing a line-up oriented towards weeks 2 and 3.

*** COME ON WIGGO !! ***

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2416 posts]
5th July 2012 - 10:37

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Why do so many people feel the need to 'gob off' via Twitter without even thinking?

Celebs and those in the public eye with thousands of followers should really know better. It shows a clear lack of... well, something.

As for the safety aspect, it's sport, it's competitive, it has an element of speed. What are they supposed to do, have a rule to say riders must be x inches apart? One way to avoid such crashes when racing is to take up time trialling - much less chance of getting taken out (though not guaranteed).

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1708 posts]
5th July 2012 - 11:16

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Sounds like the Cav has done a little whining or bitching at home... Of course, with all of her professional cycling 'experience' we could assume Peta just came up with those tweets on her own Wink

posted by dino [57 posts]
5th July 2012 - 14:00

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typically stupid woman ....

posted by Karbon Kev [628 posts]
5th July 2012 - 14:38

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Karbon Kev wrote:
typically stupid woman ....

Plenty of stupid men out there too!

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1708 posts]
5th July 2012 - 15:19

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Karbon Kev wrote:
typically stupid woman ....

Kev, this is no place for sexism, thank you.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [821 posts]
5th July 2012 - 15:35

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Give it a rest Kev - she's spot on. (and female or otherwise she's also a pretty shrewd observer of the sport and knows what she's talking about - she has, after all, had a rather well qualified teacher!) This is her partner she's talking about and the father of her child - hardly surprising that she's a little protective of him. Good for her.

Besides - as someone else mentioned above - I'd place money that those comments were made by Cav first at home. Again not surprising - they're true.

Thing is though - SKY DO know what they're doing, they're trying (and quite possibly going to) win the tour. Given Cav's record they can hardly leave him at home...but they can't give him an eight man lead-out train either. Hence battle it out alone time. The fact that Cav can still win stages this way is a testament to his ability, but we can't expect the 5-6 stage haul of yesteryear.

Nor should we be griping about this - this is our best chance ever to put a Brit on the top step of the podium, how pathetic would it be if we didn't even give it a try because we didn't want to risk missing out on a few stage wins...

Cav knows this and is still in there fighting - he's a big hearted guy.

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
5th July 2012 - 16:49

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I think she has a point. and watching yesterdays stage it seems Sky have been listening.
Interesting comments form Greipel also re team support for the world champion.

posted by bauchlebastart [81 posts]
6th July 2012 - 9:08

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