Can Cavendish ride the Tour of Britain?

Vuelta abandon

A quick precision on the rules. This afternoon Mark Cavendish has abandoned the Vuelta a Espana this afternoon. With Matthew Goss leaving the race, it’s not ideal for the team nor the riders concerned, especially since both want their say in the World Championships in Denmark.

Some fans were asking on Twitter if Cavendish can now do his home event, the Tour of Britain starts soon and it would be an ideal stage race to build for the Worlds. But there’s a rule forbidding riders who abandon a race from starting another…

2.6.026 Drop-out A rider dropping out of the race may not compete in any other cycling events for the duration of the stage race that he abandoned, on pain of a 15 day suspension and a fine of CHF 200 to 1,000. For major tours, the event directors and the commissaires panel jointly may, however, grant exceptions at the request of a rider and with the agreement of his team manager.

In other words normally you can’t race again if you leave a stage race until the event is over… unless you get permission. Cavendish and Goss would need the permission of the Vuelta race organisers and the UCI.

I don’t think this will be a problem, especially if they are both ill. A few days of rest to recover and there’s the GP Ouest-France in Plouay, France this Sunday (where Matt Goss got his first big win last year). Indeed if getting the ok to resume racing soon isn’t hard, perhaps the biggest problem for Cavendish and Goss is the lack of alternative races. A big stage race is ideal and even the Tour of Britain doesn’t start for two and half weeks.

8 thoughts on “Can Cavendish ride the Tour of Britain?”

  1. I suggest you look at the scheduled start / finish times then. For UCI purposes, it is start times that count; so given that the first stage of the ToB starts AFTER the last stage of the Vuelta has started, there is no overlap as far as the rules are concerned and it is therefore classed as being the next day.

  2. Mark H – If that’s the case according to the rule book then all good – I can look forward to possibly seeing Cav sprinting closer to home, thanks.

  3. I am admired that there are still riders who take part in all three biggest and longest races in the calendar. I am amazed that the one who chooses to do so happens to be just a sprinter, and not the strongest one at swallowing serial marathons. Andy Schleck and Cavendish should exchange calendars. (Rodríguez and Schleck should exchange wages, and Cavendish and Rodríguez should exchange coverage).

  4. he has said on his twitter feed that he is off for tests to find out what is wrong – nice and ambiguous for the UCI if he does decide that he needs to have a race in ToB

  5. It would be nice to think that a ‘common sense’ approach would prevail here.

    In something like Goss’s case – surely the race doctor could confirm that Goss indeed had his food ‘going straight through him’ (what a job!), and so was free to race again once recovered…

    Bit less clear for Cav and others who just find it all too hard with the heat and hills… If the conditions are as tough as are beig reported, then I think its difficult not to allow a rider to abandon and take on an ‘easier’ race soon after…

    If someone is a ‘serial abandoner’ though, then maybe they can be sanctioned under a different process or rule? Like bringing the sport into disrepute?

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