Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) was just spit out the back of the peloton.
According to several witnesses, the talented sprinter had spit on Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) in the immediate aftermath of their dramatic crash in stage 4. That lead to a start-line protest the next day against Cavendish for his dangerous tactics, rude behavior and lack of apology.
Throw all that together along with serious bruising and abrasions and Cavendish decided to pack it in before stage 6. First the finger, then the spitting. The road isn’t getting any easier for the Manxman, whose early season was delayed by dental issues and compromised by an ugly public feud with Andre Greipel, the other fast man on the HTC-Columbia squad.
Director Sportifs Rolf Aldag and Brian Holm may have to pack Cavendish off to charm school before the Tour de France. Or perhaps the Baldridge School for Wayward Sprinters. By several accounts, Cavendish can be an engaging and generous person off the bike, but his mouth and pugnacious attitude get getting him in hot water.
The peloton has spoken: No spitting unless you’re Carmen Rivera in a tight black leather corset.