‘That’s not the exit we want to see’ - Bradley Wiggins on Mark Cavendish hinting at retirement
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has said he found it ‘very tough’ to watch his former teammate Mark Cavendish emotionally reveal he may have ridden his last race.
A tearful Cavendish, 35, spoke after Belgian race Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday and declared that it may well have been his last outing as a professional cyclist.
And Wiggins, who has won several world titles with his fellow countryman on the track as well as linking up with him on the road for Team Sky in 2012, admits it was a difficult thing for him to watch.
"I think we all found it very tough to watch," Wiggins said on his Eurosport podcast.
"It’s not the exit from the sport for a man who’s achieved what he’s achieved, it’s not the exit we all want to see.
"We want to see him go out on a high. No one really expected it either, he never stated this was going to be his last year.
"It almost feels like the decision had been taken away from him and it’s become more of someone else’s decision rather than Mark saying this is where I will stop."
For many cycling fans, Cavendish will go down as the greatest sprinter of all-time.
Nicknamed ‘The Manx Missile’ after his birthplace on the Isle of Man, the Briton has won 30 stages of the Tour de France, more than any other sprinter and second overall behind only Eddy Merckx.
He was also crowned world road race champion in 2011, the first Brit to do so since Tom Simpson in 1965.
Other accolades include claiming the green jersey at the Tour in 2011, 15 Giro d’Italia stage victories, two Vuelta Espana wins and the Milan-San Remo classic.
On the track, he is also a two-time Madison world champion and Olympic silver medallist in the omnium.