Third stage win for Mark Cavendish – Briton talks form, rivals and climbing

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By Shane Stokes in Turkey

Speaking to the press after clocking up his third stage win in four days, Mark Cavendish has praised his team for doing what he said was a superb job while also dismissing a question about his climbing ability.

Cavendish said that he felt a question asked by a journalist about the latter was disrespectful, pointing out that while he isn’t a natural climber, he still works hard on this area of cycling so he can get over medium ascents and be there to fight at the finish.

“It’s my physiological makeup that I don’t go up hills fast,” he answered, looking stunned when the journalist suggested that he must not train on hills and perhaps only climbs mountains in his car. “Considering my physiological makeup, I go uphill pretty well. I won Milan-San Remo, I’ve won medium mountain stages in the Tours de France. I think it is pretty disrespectful to think that I just don’t train on climbs.

“I do quite the opposite. If I didn’t train on climbs I would be a lot worse of a bike rider than I actually am. I’m not that bad. It’s just that when I am dropped on a climb, the camera’s on me, not on the 40 guys that were dropped before me.

“That is the unfortunate thing. I am always going to get asked and judged like that but I am happy with my palmares in cycling. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Cavendish said that his Omega Pharma Quick Step team did a perfect job for him on yesterday’s stage, giving him a perfect ride to the finish. As a result his sprint win was the easiest this week and showed that the squad are coming together very well.

“The team stayed with me on the final climb. They gathered together as soon as they could at the top of the climb and they went. They went hard with five to go and it was super fast. It was a textbook leadout in the fact that if the sprinter really doesn’t have to do anything, then he has an extraordinary team around him.

“Today was incredible. It’s exactly what Patrick Lefevere meant when he put this team together. I’m super happy it worked out.”

In the video above Cavendish elaborates on this and speaks about his power output in the finale. He also talks about the battle he had to do to ensure he was at the finish in the peloton, as well as describing extremely dangerous weather conditions and what he organisers did to overcome them.

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