Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cavendish feels 'abused' by team

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish won five stages at this year's Tour de France

Mark Cavendish says he has not been offered a new contract by his team HTC-Columbia beyond next season and has expressed dismay at his treatment.

The Isle of Man sprinter is the most successful British rider in Tour de France history, with 15 stage wins.

He said: "I'm committed to a contract I signed a few years ago. There's been no goodwill, no bonuses, nothing.

"I'm kind of abused for what I've achieved but I've been contracted to do it, so I have to do it."

Cavendish, 25, will contest the Commonwealth Games road race in Delhi on Sunday.


The Manxman's comments will lead to speculation he could join the British-based Team Sky, having snubbing their advances a year ago.

He expressed disquiet earlier this year at his treatment by the team, currently known as HTC-Columbia, which he joined when it was set up as Highroad in 2008, and owner Bob Stapleton.

And he told a media conference on Saturday: "The pressures are incredible. I know the people around me appreciate that it's like that [but] I'm not sure anymore if my team does, not my team as a whole but the manager.

"I haven't been offered another contract yet so I don't know why that is.

"At the end of the day I'm never going to stop racing. I love racing and I'm going to race for my team-mates.

"Fundamentally I ride my bike because I love to ride my bike.

"But [with] the pressures, the normal person's life that I've lost, you should see the benefits coming with that and I don't get that. I'm disappointed with that."

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