Mark Cavendish back on the bike after Tour de France crash

Manx Missile returns to the spotlight with visit to team on second rest day

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is back on the bike after his Tour de France crash but hasn’t put a date on his return to racing.

The Manx Missile, who needed surgery after suffering a separated shoulder in the stage one crash which saw him abandon the race, made a flying visit to France to see his team-mates on the second rest day.

Mark Cavendish returns to the media spotlight on the Tour’s second rest day (Mark Cavendish, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Tour de France 2014, rest day (Pic: OPQS/Tim De Waele)

And the 29-year-old revealed he has returned to training at a press conference to announce the team will change its name to Etixx-QuickStep from the start of the 2015 season.

“I want to get back to racing for Omega Pharma-QuickStep as soon as physically possible, and my days are full doing everything I can to optimise that,” said Cavendish, who will miss the Commonwealth Games as a result of the crash.

“Yesterday I went out with my bike on the road for the first time after the injury, but as of now I can’t really say when I will be racing again. I will discuss it with the team in the next days.

“I just want to be here with my team right now and let them know how proud I am of they way they’re conducting themselves at the Tour de France, the biggest race in the world and one I love dearly.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep have claimed two stage wins since Cavendish’s departure, with Matteo Trentin triumphing on stage seven and Tony Martin, the three-time world time trial champion, securing a long-range solo victory on stage nine.

And Cavendish paid tribute to his team-mates while admitting he misses the race in which has has claimed 25 stage wins.

“Now that I’ve been at home I realise how much I miss the OPQS guys and the Tour de France,” said Cavendish. “It’s been incredible watching them. I’ve watched some stages when my rehab and recovery didn’t interfere and it’s been really impressive, especially seeing them win the way they did with Matteo Trentin and Tony Martin.

“You can see the strength, the desire, and I still feel part of that even when I’m in my home watching them on the television. I’m super proud of them. We came here as a sprint team and to lose your sprinter in the first day, it can almost throw you into a situation of ‘what to do now.’ But all eight riders still racing the Tour are super strong.

“It’s easy to see how they’ve got along without me there with them. I’m still part of the team when I’m not here, and to see them pull it off the way they have makes me so happy.

“As for me, I had to make sure I was on top of my recovery and my rehab first before I could spend a couple days with the guys.”

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