Last week Mark Cavendish just missed out on his first win since returning from illness on the final stage of the Tour of Slovenia which was won by Ireland’s Sam Bennet.
Cavendish had been out of action with glandular fever since the middle of March but showed last week that he was returning to form just in time for the Tour de France which gets underway in just a couple of weeks.
He finished tenth behind Bennett in Thursday’s opening stage and then cruised home on Friday after a mechanical issue late on. The mechanical problem prevented him competing in the sprint at the end of the stage but fortunately, he was able to avoid the multiple crashes that occurred and said that he wasn’t near any of them. He then went on to finish 24 minutes down in Saturday’s mountain stage.
However, he looked far more like himself during Sunday’s uphill finish in Novo Mesto and was clearly upset when he lost out in the closing metres to Bennett. Cavendish will likely be pleased with his improved performance as he aims to complete his return to top form.
If you'd told me I'd be anywhere near a win this week, I'd have laughed at you. 1st time I'm happy with 2nd. Congratulations @Sammmy_Be!
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) June 18, 2017
Bennett’s Bora-Hansgrohe team had a great deal to celebrate. His teammate Rafal Majka won the overall prize after claiming victory in the summit finish at Rogla on Saturday.
Tomorrow Cavendish will be racing on home soil when the British National Road Race Championships takes place in the Isle of Man. He will be hoping to build on his form in Slovenia and claim his first win.
Cavendish will then be hoping to be selected by his team and head to the Tour de France start line in Dusseldorf on July 1st. At present he has amassed 30 stage victories, just four short of Eddy Merckx’s all time record.