“It was pretty chaotic in the finale, it was carnage. I was terrified for my life.”
Spoken like an old man, an aging sprinter, the former Boy Racer who now has a wife, two young kids, three houses and a nice, comfortable life.
That was Mark Cavendish, barely surviving and remaining alive after the first day’s sprint in the Dubai Tour. Nothing to prove out there in front of the camels.
The man who tried to squeeze through a small gap along the barriers in last years’ Tour de France, only to be closed off and squeezed into the barriers with or without Pater Sagan’s help was the same man who was terrified in Dubai.
“I wasn’t fighting to get on a wheel, I was fighting to dodge guys who were turning left across the peloton. The UCI ruled over the winter that it’s alright to cut across the peloton, so I guess everyone is doing it now…”
Left unsaid but heavily implied by Cavendish: ain’t worth killing yourself and compromising months of training to win an early season sprint out in the middle of the desert with almost nobody watching. Tour de France, yes, take every risk. Dubai, not so much, let’s get back to all- expenses paid hotel in one piece.
Mark Cavendish will be 33 on May 21st. He’s now wise enough to avoid all unnecessary carnage.
Instead, it was a young and fearless 24 year old cowboy without a wife or child or several houses who was more than happy to race into the carnage. Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL Jumbo) took the win over the 25 year old Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) and 28 year old Elia Viviani (Quickstep). Guys still trying to make a name for themselves or show their new team they merited the bigger contract.
Cavendish is simply to old to play cowboy. That’s a kid’s game.