Sky sprinter Elia Viviani thinks that the Tour de France, the Olympics and the Worlds, might be too big of a bite for Mark Cavendish. It is a genuine fear, considering that those are three demanding races in two separate disciplines. Could he be right?
The goal has been set high - Cavendish is aiming for a win at the Olympics which remains a goal unreached for him, but there are also the Rio Games right between two grand races - the Tour de France in the summer and the Worlds in the fall.
Elia Viviani, who rides for Team Sky, would be one of Cavendish’s main competitors, especially in Rio if the Manxman manages to win a slot. According to Viviani, setting the bar so high just might be stretching it a little to far. “I just think it might be too much for anyone,” said Viviani during his stay at Team Sky’s training Camp in Mallorca while talking to the Cyclingnewsand journalists.
“Its just that the Tour de France and the Olympics are back to back, and sure, when you finish the tour, you’re in top form. Yes, he would be fine for the points race, but it might be too much for the kilo. You simply cant pay too much in the kilo at the Olympics, I mean, you’re not out if you lose 20 points, but still...”
“The focuses are too different and to many for you to give 100% in all of them, that’s all I’m saying.”
Viviani came in third at the Worlds in February, and he is the current European Omnium champ. Unlike Cavendish, the Cali leg of the World cup in November will be focusing on the road up until the Giro d’Italia. After that, he will be doing track specific work for over two months. He says that a lot can depend on Cavendish’s approach to the goals he set and is looking forward to seeing the shape Cavendish is in at the Hong Kong leg of the World Cup.
“Its easy to regain form after you’ve done so much track as he [Cavendish] has, but there a lot of specifics to work out for the Omnium and its all a couple of months before the big one”, says Viviani. “There is no reason for him to lose his stride or confidence, but he needs to have one single focus.”
But don’t let it be said that everything Viviani said was so critical - he claims that Cavendish is at the top of the sprinting world at the moment. After all, he had a very good 2015 - his total equaled 13 wins. even though André Greipel and Alexander Kristoff got the better of him.
“Even with all that, I still think the Manxman is currently the best sprinter in the world,” said the Sky sprinter. “I was thinking about this a couple of months ago while I was watching him on track, and I remember saying to myself, ‘yeah, this man has won everything’. You know, everything a sprinter dreams of, Cav already came on top.
“I think the Team Dimension Data can do a lot of good in the season, and he is obviously the best. Kittel is really strong as well, but I still think it will be hard to top Cav.”