Mark Cavendish has called time on his 2015 season after undergoing surgery on the shoulder he injured at the Tour of Britain.
The Manxman crashed out of stage six of the race after colliding with a parked car, and suffered a partial tear of the left ACL – the opposite shoulder to the one injured at last year’s Tour de France.
And having already withdrawn from Britain’s UCI Road World Championships squad, Cavendish has had to end his season early – meaning he will miss the Abi Dhabi Tour too.
“It has been a very difficult decision,” he said. “However, ten days from the crash, I still had pain and I couldn’t lift or pull much weight.
“I tried to ride my bike a few days ago on the road, but I could not put any power out by pulling on the handlebars.
“The surgery was necessary to avoid any problems in the near future. I’m so disappointed to end the season like this. The UCI World Championships and Abu Dhabi Tour were two important objectives for the end of my season.
“But there’s nothing I can do now except take a period of rest, and then start with intensive rehab. I wish Etixx – Quick-Step and the British National Team all the best for the next races.”
Cavendish had been an ambassador for the Abu Dhabi Tour, a race which would have seen him return to the United Arab Emirates for the second time this year following his Dubai Tour triumph in the spring.
Now surgery it could mark the end of Cavendish’s Etixx-QuickStep career, with the Manx Missile’s contract ending this winter and question marks over where he will be riding next season.
Etixx-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere is stalling on a new contract and MTN-Qhubeka and Trek Factory Racing are said to be leading the race to secure Cavendish’s signature, with the 2016 UCI Track World Championships and bidding for Olympic qualification on his agenda alongside the sprint stars regular road schedule.