Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) finished Milan-San Remo in the huge main group, 5:23 behind race winner and teammate Matt Goss, after being blocked behind the crash on the descent of Le Manie. Yet while the other riders were disappointed with the outcome of the race, Cavendish was genuinely happy for his teammate and occasional lead-out man.
“He did a great job. I said he was going to be there and he was there alone. He’s a legend,” Cavendish said.
Cavendish had rightly been considered a contender before the start but admitted after the finish that he had felt ill during the race with stomach problems.
“No.” he said honestly when asked if he could have won Milan-San Remo this year. “When we came down the coast I had bad guts and I’ve been throwing up all day. It kind of took the pressure off me with Gossie going better.”
Cavendish then explained in detail how the crash that turned this year’s Milan-San Remo upside down happened on the descent of the Le Manie climb. Cavendish punctured just before the start of Le Manie and so started the climb near the back of the peloton.
“There was a crash in the peloton on the descent of Le Manie, not with me directly,” he said.
“Hushovd went down before Le Manie and then we went full gas up Le Manie and I was a little off the back. We got on over the top, before the descent started, but there was a crash in the peloton on the descent and it split the peloton. There was a group away and after that…we couldn’t chase with Gossie there.”
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.