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“The train is just not there. I have not seen men with balls. There are a few who could be better, but for fear. ‘Fear of failure’ I call it. A few riders must realize that you do not have to race with Omega Pharma-Quick S...

MARK CAVENDISH

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PATRICK LEFEVERE

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SCHELDEPRIJS VLAANDEREN

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SOUDAL - QUICK STEP

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04.04.2013 @ 14:08 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Yesterday’s Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen could have witnessed Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) claim a record-breaking fourth win in the race but while the team rode hard in the opening phases of the race, Cavendish was effectively on his own as the sprint unfurled.

 

Even on a TV-screen it was plain to see that Cavendish was clearly out of position and even though he managed to wriggle his way past most of his rivals, he simply ran out of time before the line and lost out to Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano). 

After the stage Cavendish was hesitant about blaming his teammates when giving a post-race TV interview but his disappointment was obvious. His team manager at Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Patrick Lefevere, however, pulls no punches when giving his version to the press about the team performance both at Scheldeprijs yesterday and throughout the season so far. 

“I’m not happy,” he said, according to Belgian sports daily Sporza. “Just about everything went wrong, like the whole year already.”

“The train is just not there. I have not seen men with balls. There are a few who could be better, but for fear. ‘Fear of failure’ I call it. A few riders must realize that you do not have to race with Omega Pharma-Quick Step if you are afraid to do the final kilometre. In that case you need to go to Accent Jobs-Wanty,” he stated, referring the smaller Belgian team. 

Lefevere goes on to ask rhetorically, “Do I need to buy a lot of new riders next year, maybe?”

Although Cavendish has stockpiled seven wins this year and has received good support from his team in many races, there have also been a number of times when his leadout train has either messed things up entirely or been conspicuous by its absence. 

Despite his evident disillusion, Cavendish, to his credit, remained guarded in his public responses as reporters tried to extract a controversial comment from the sprinter. 

Lefevere was less restrained in his verdict: “I can’t blame Iljo Keisse and Martin Velits, but the rest of the team was not there. Steegmans and Maes still should have been around Mark in the end.”
 

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