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Cavendish: Sky weren't up front

ESPN staff
February 6, 2013
Wins were not quite as frequent for Mark Cavendish at Sky last year © PA Photos

Mark Cavendish says he would not have joined Team Sky had he known that his sprint interests would be sidelined in the final week of the 2012 Tour de France.

Cavendish announced he would leave Sky in October and is seemingly well-settled with his new team Omega Pharma-Quick Step, having won the past two stages of the Tour of Qatar and in possession of the gold leader's jersey.

The Manxman described the 2012 Tour as the most 'difficult' of his career and hinted that Sky team principal Dave Brailsford and his team were not totally up front in outlining the team's true aims.

At the start of the year Team Sky had talked about fighting for both the yellow and green jerseys in France but as Bradley Wiggins edged closer to becoming the first British cyclist to win the race, Cavendish's hopes of a second maillot vert were ignored. The 27-year-old still won three stages but his green jersey passed to Peter Sagan.

"It was the most difficult Tour of my career," Cavendish told the La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I was wearing the rainbow jersey [as world champion] and had the form of my life but I won my least number of stages. It was frustrating.

"I never complained about that [going for yellow with Wiggins], it's the biggest goal in cycling. I didn't want a team exclusively for me, otherwise I wouldn't have gone to Sky. But I knew they wanted to go to the Tour to win the green points jersey too. And I wanted to be part of that.

"But when we got there, I realised things were different. If things had been made clear before I signed, I'd probably have gone to a different team."

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