British professional road racing cyclist Mark Cavendish believes mistakes at the men’s World Championship cost him dearly after Peter Sagan retained the title in Qatar.
Sagan became the first rider since Paolo Bettini to win back-to-back titles, retaining the rainbow jersey.
Cavendish, however, took the podium in second place but he had his work cut out till the finishing line.
He started his sprint to the finish line directly behind Sagan, who himself was behind Tom Boonen and Giacomo Nizzolo.
The reigning champion chose to pass the duo on the right while Cavendish went the other way. The move backfired massively as the 31-year-old had to momentarily stop pedalling in order to get safely around Michael Matthews.
Nearing the end, the Brit managed to go past Boonen but ultimately conceded defeat to Sagan.
He gave an appropriate analysis of his performance after the completion of the race.
Sky Sports quoted Cavendish saying: “I wanted to be on Sagan’s wheel and I was, and then all of a sudden the road was blocked. I tried to find a way though and with less than 100m to go, I had to stop pedalling and go around I think Michael Matthews, and then it was just too late.”
“I got back on Tom Boonen, but it was too late to come back on Sagan.”
Known as ‘the sprinter’ on road races, Cavendish bemoaned his display, claiming it felt like losing the gold than winning the silver.
He continued: “I’m a bit disappointed. I feel like I lost gold rather than I won silver there, but that’s how it is. We did all we can.”
“It was my own fault. It wasn’t my legs, and when it’s not my legs, I’m a bit p****d because I made a mistake. It’s not really nice to do that at a World Championship.”
Along with Cavendish, Luke Rowe and Adam Blythe were the only riders from the British contingent, but Rowe failed to continue as he suffered a puncture and couldn’t catch back up.
Cavendish further added: “It was hard. The guys did a good job in the crosswinds at the beginning. We had Luke Rowe in the front group with us originally and he punctured, which was kind of a shame because we could have done with him, but Adam Blythe looked after me great."
Nonetheless, he hailed the Slovakian rider, commending his performance during the entire event.
"At the end of the day, it's Peter Sagan, he wears that jersey with honour and he represents it well. I think I would be more disappointed if it was someone else."