Cycling

Cavendish's Omega Pharma-Quickstep pleased with Tour de France

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With the Tour de France coming to an end this weekend Omega Pharma-Quickstep will come away feeling pleased with how they did, despite the loss of Mark Cavendish on stage one.

Cavendish's early departure could have led to the team collapsing as he is their star man but it seems to have had the complete opposite effect.

The team have been outstanding during the Tour picking up two stage wins through Matteo Trentin on stage seven and Tony Martin on stage nine.

If Cavendish was still racing it is likely they would have had more wins but with stage 20 on Saturday being a time trial many believe Martin will pick up another stage win.

Omega Pharma's team boss Patrick Lefevere admits losing Cavendish was a huge disappointment by claims the sponsors are pleased with how the team have done.

Lefevere said, according to Cycling Weekly:Of course, yes, it’s a big loss to lose your star on day one.

“We want to win, it helps build a name for our sponsors. Even today, people still are yelling ‘Cav’ when they see our team car, which means they recognise the sponsor and its name.

“My sponsors, however, are very happy with the team’s ride, how we performed, the exposure of the team. Even without Mark Cavendish, the sponsors are happy.”

The team have seemed to step up since they lost Cavendish and this has meant that Mark Renshaw has been given the opportunity to fight for the sprint finishes.

Renshaw will be fighting the other sprinters on Sunday on the Champs-Elysees and with a good lead out train there is no reason why he can't win.

Lefevere believes his team has done extremely well without Cavendish and is happy to see that the other riders in the team are supporting Renshaw when it comes to the sprint finishes.

“It’s beautiful to see that without the leader they are doing the same job. They wanted to show that the Tour selection that we made was the right selection,” Lefevere said.

“In the first 10 days, we were probably the most attentive team, always in the breakaways, even if there wasn’t a breakaway then doing the lead out like ‘Cav’ was there. In Nîmes, we were the only team that was able to destablise the bunch with Martin and [Jan] Bakelants.

“I’m quite proud of my team, every sprint they did, they were there. If you see that Renshaw – who in normal life can never beat Marcel Kittel and Alex Kristoff – was third, fourth and twice fifth… So the guys were working like Cavendish was there and it worked. It means the team was ready to take Mark to several victories, I’m convinced.”

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Topics:
Cycling
Tour De France
Mark Cavendish

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