Mark Cavendish has confirmed he faces ‘a number of weeks’ of recovery ahead after injuring his collarbone in the Tour de France, writes Abby Foden-Williams.
He recently spoke out following surgery on the collarbone he broke during stage eight of the race, crushing the Manx Missile’s hopes of achieving 35 Tour victories after a powerful performance on stage seven.
In a social media post on Instagram from his hospital bed, Cavendish explained that the injury would take longer to heal than a standard collarbone break because of complications caused by another injury from Le Tour in the same place from 2014.
He stated: ‘It’ll take a bit longer than the standard couple of weeks for a collarbone, just due to the screws that were in there from a previous injury. But we’re still only looking at a number of weeks, so happy days!’
It was implied that Cavendish had been shaken up by the crash, with the video beginning with him stating that he hadn’t known what to say up until that point. But he took the opportunity to thank fans, colleagues and family friends for their love and support, stating he had been ‘bowled over’ by the response to his accident.
He also mentioned that he would be missing and cheering on his ‘family’ at Astana Qazaqstan Team throughout the Tour, all the way into Paris.
Despite the injury, Cav’s spirits seemed high and he said that: ‘It obviously hasn’t been the ideal way to finish the Tour de France, but that’s part of the beauty and brutality of cycling! But I’ve felt incredibly lifted thanks to all you beautiful souls living my journey with me.’
There was no hint in the social media post as to whether the crash could lead to any alterations to Cavendish’s 2023 retirement plans, but the prospect has been raised that he will return for another Tour, with Astana Qazaqstan having offered him the chance.
At present, it is unknown whether Cav will be fit in time to race at the UCI Cycling World Championships from August 3-13 where he is longlisted to be in the GB elite men’s road squad in Glasgow alongside fellow Onchan resident Ben Swift.
Manxies Elizabeth Holden, Becky Storrie and brothers Max and Zac Walker are also longlisted for the event.
Also coming up from August 26 to September 17 is Vuelta a España - the third of this year’s Grand Tours - plus the Tour of Britain from September 3-10, giving Cavendish a better shot at recovering in time to compete, although no comment has been made on the subject.
For now, it appears Cavendish’s focus is completely on recovering, first and foremost. He ended the post saying: ‘Right then, time for rehab! Let’s get on with it!’