Astana Qazaqstan Team to go on with six riders to Paris
It was a shocking day for Astana Qazaqstan Team after its leader Mark Cavendish abandoned the Tour de France after breaking his collarbone in a crash amid the peloton with 60km remaining on stage 8.
“This really hurts. Especially one day after coming so close to a stage win. It’s like this, we need to accept it, but it’s hard after all the sacrifices he did to get to his current level. He had a fair good chance to win a stage in this Tour. In last Giro he crashed more often and in the end he won a stage, now his first crash immediately ends in a nightmare for him”, said Team Manager Alexandr Vinokurov.
“Every day he felt better, he was so motivator for his teammates. He was responsible for the team spirit in the race but at the dinner table as well. It’s a huge disappointment for Cav but for all cycling fans as well. Everybody wanted to see him win a 35th stage”, continued Alexandr Vinokurov.
Mark Cavendish broke his right collarbone but because of the fracture an osteosynthesis screw in the acromioclavicular joint (being there since his crash in the 2017 Tour de France) became loose and is floating in his shoulder, causing extra pain. Cavendish returns to England on Sunday where he will undergo surgery later. He was too disappointed to comment for the moment.
For Astana Qazaqtan Team, the race goes on with six riders after earlier in the race also Luis Leon Sanchez crashed out with a broken collarbone.
“We need to change our strategy from now on. Today will be hard for all of us but we still have two weeks ahead of us. We will go in the breaks and try to win a stage. For Mark. I hope we will see him soon back in the race. Now it’s too early to say something about his race program. For sure, in my opinion, his career cannot end here. I crashed out in the Tour of 2011 but I came back to win Olympic Gold one year later. It would be nice if Mark comes back to the Tour for a 15th time and win that 35th stage. We joked already about it yesterday evening”, concluded Alexandr Vinokurov.
Photo credit: @SprintCycling