Tour de France: Mark Cavendish pulls out of remaining five stages

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish won Saturday’s 14th stage in Villars-les-Dombes

Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France with five stages left to concentrate on his preparations for the Rio Olympics.

The Manxman said continuing would have had a “detrimental effect” on his hopes for the Games, which begin on 5 August.

Cavendish, 31, won four stages at this year’s Tour to increase his tally to 30 overall – second on the all-time list behind Belgian great Eddy Merckx.

The Team Dimension Data rider will compete in the omnium in Rio.

It is a multi-discipline track event consisting of six races held across two days.

Cavendish will be riding in his third Olympics, having failed to win a medal in his first two Games.

He said he took the decision to leave the Tour “with great sadness”.

“To leave a race and organisation I hold so much respect for and a team I have such a special bond with, has not been an easy decision at all,” he said.

“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.”

Cavendish claimed victories at Utah Beach, Angers, Montauban and Villars-les-Dombes on this year’s Tour but would not have won the green jersey.

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan is more than 100 points ahead and will claim the green jersey for the fifth successive Tour if he makes it to Paris on Sunday.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/36841535

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