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by Shane Stokes
September 22, 2015
Photography by Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos
Mark Cavendish may have ridden his final race ever in Etixx – Quick-Step team colours, with the Briton being forced to end his season early due to the after-effects of the Tour of Britain crash.
Cavendish underwent surgery Monday morning on the left shoulder he injured when he hit a parked car on stage six of the British race. He suffered a partial tear of his left AC ligament in the impact. This is the opposite shoulder to the one he badly injured in a fall during stage one of the 2014 Tour de France.
The surgery was successful, but his season is at an end.
Cavendish had hoped to ride the world road race championships but instead will face a period of time off the bike. It means he will also miss the Abu Dhabi Tour. He is the official ambassador for the new race but, if he attends, it will be in a non-competitive status.
The sprinter described the decision to undergo surgery as being a very difficult one. He said however that he had little choice.
“After ten days since the crash, I still had pain and I couldn’t lift or pull much weight,” he explained. “I tried to ride my bike a few days ago on the road, but I could not put any power out by pulling on the handlebars.
“The surgery was necessary to avoid any problems in the near future. I’m so disappointed to end the season like this.”
He had a very strong start to the year with numerous victories. However he has not topped the podium since taking stage seven of the Tour de France. His aim to do so again this year again has now been dashed.
“The UCI World Championships and Abu Dhabi Tour were two important objectives for the end of my season,” he said. “But there’s nothing I can do now except take a period of rest, and then start with intensive rehab. I wish Etixx – Quick-Step and the British National Team all the best for the next races.”
He is almost certain to leave the Etixx – Quick-Step team, and has been linked to MTN Qhubeka.