The British sprinter, winner of four Tour stages this year, had problems with his bike at the start of the 19th stage of the race and was caught on camera expressing his frustration in front of fans outside the team bus in Mourenx .
Mark Cavendish, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/lls0NyJofMJuly 16, 2021
The video of the moment appeared on social media, with cycling fans wondering if Cavendish’s reaction was justified.
Cavendish, who looks set to win the green jersey in Paris on Sunday July 18, shared a post on Instagram in response to the video, explaining his reaction but without apologizing.
The 36-year-old said: “Many of you will have seen the video since the start of today’s stage.
“During one day of the Tour de France, as riders, we were put in a perilous situation and I wanted my bike to be perfect, in order to help me stay safe.
“My bike had some problems when I rode it this morning. Despite this, I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did and not so publicly. I have been an extremely close friend of my mechanics for over a decade and they have worked tirelessly to ensure that I have always been safe and successful. While they know how small I can be when I’m stressed, no one, especially the ones you love, deserve to be raised.
“Truly one of the biggest factors in the success of Deceuninck – Quick-Step is that we are a family, that we love and care for each other, and conversations have to be kept within that family.
“We have now talked about what happened and as a group the ‘Wolfpack’ will do their best to successfully complete the Tour de France. “
Cavendish returned to his best during this year’s Tour, having struggled with illness, injury, mental health issues and fearing the untimely end of his career last year.
Having not won a Tour stage since 2016, Cavendish topped this year’s race sprints, making history by tying the record-breaking Tour stage wins previously held by Eddy Merckx out of 34 .
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Speaking after his 34th sprint victory in Carcassonne on stage ninth, Cavendish said: “For me it’s just another stage victory in the Tour de France. It’s the same feeling as the first one. I still don’t realize it’s special because of the record. A child’s dream comes true after a lot of hard work. If any of my wins can inspire ten kids to ride bikes and maybe race the Tour de France in the future, that’s what will matter most to me. ”