Tour de France: Mark Cavendish pulls out of remaining five stages

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Mark Cavendish

Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France with five stages remaining to concentrate on his preparations for the Rio Olympics.

The Manxman said continuing would have had a “detrimental effect” on his hopes for the Games, which begin on 5 August.

Cavendish, 31, won four stages at this year’s Tour to increase his tally to 30 overall – second on the all-time list behind Belgian great Eddy Merckx.

The Team Dimension Data rider will compete in the omnium in Rio.

The omnium is a multi-discipline track event consisting of six races held across two days.

Cavendish will be riding in his third Olympics, having failed to win a medal in his first two Games.

He said he took the decision to leave the Tour “with great sadness”.

“To leave a race and organisation that I hold so much respect for and a team that I have such a special bond with, has not been an easy decision at all,” he said.

“I want to say thank you to them, along with all the fans for their support and encouragement, today and over the past 16 stages.”

Cavendish claimed victories at Utah Beach, Angers, Montauban and Villars-les-Dombes on this year’s Tour.

Despite his victories he would not have been able to win this year’s green jersey as Slovakia’s Peter Sagan is more than 100 points ahead of him. Should Sagan make it to Paris he will take the green jersey for the fifth successive Tour.

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