Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka have announced on today’s second rest day that their sprinter Mark Cavendish will not start tomorrow’s seventeenth stage. This is to allow the Manxman time to prepare for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio.
Cavendish has enjoyed an incredibly successful Tour, having won four stages in addition to wearing both the yellow and green jerseys.
The statement from the team was as follows:
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has enjoyed extraordinary success in the Tour de France. Among the many highlights so far for the Team, the stand out wins on Stage 1, 3, 6 and 14 by Mark Cavendish and the Stage 7 win by Steve Cummings were exceptional. Our African team was also proud to enjoy time in both the Yellow and Green Jerseys, worn by Cavendish, who extended his Tour de France stage win record to 30 wins taking him to 2nd on the all-time Tour Stage Wins record.
After analysing his workload from the previous stages and his current levels of fatigue, the Team has supported Mark leaving the Tour to give him the best opportunity to recover and prepare for the Olympic Games in Rio. He will not take to the start of stage 17.
Mark Cavendish – “After an extremely enjoyable and successful couple of weeks at The Tour de France with Team Dimension Data, it is with great sadness that I took the decision today to leave the race. After the heat and intensity of the previous stages, we analysed my fatigue levels and decided I’m at a point that would have a detrimental effect on my other big goal for the year, the Olympic Games.”
“To leave a race and organisation that I hold so much respect for and a team that I have such a special bond with, has not been an easy decision at all. I want to say thank you to them, along with all the fans for their support and encouragement, today and over the past 16 stages.”
“I wish Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and all the other competitors luck in the final few days into Paris, a special place that I will definitely miss the emotions of this year.”
Douglas Ryder – Team Principle – “Mark raced an incredible Tour de France, winning 4 stages and extending his palmarès to 30 stage wins at the Grand Boucle. He managed to put on his first ever Yellow jersey and to carry the Green jersey into the first rest day in Andorra was just exceptional.”
“He has been a great team leader over the past two weeks and a great ambassador for everyone involved in this team and for the greater cause we ride for. Mark is really sad to leave the tour, we are committed to support him in his dream goal of receiving a medal for Britain at the Rio Olympic games.”