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Should Mark Cavendish swallow his pride and retire?

JammiedodgerukJammiedodgeruk Posts: 36
edited October 2019 in Pro race
I used to be a big fan of Cavs back in the day, but I've got to say he's become a bit of a sad joke these past few years that, for me at least, seems to be undermining everything he's achieved in the sport.

That head down, explosive sprinting power he had has gone and has been for 3 years it seems. Even today watching the Tour of Poland, it seems to be a regular pattern of his to now make it 'look' like he's still in the mix but simply isn't. He's way off, often head butting other riders going past, picking the wrong wheel and basically giving up way early in a sprint where 5 years ago he would have been at the front and popped out for a win with devastating power.

I find it all a bit sad to watch now because in interviews it's like his head hasn't caught up with the realisation that his body just can't do it anymore. He keeps coming out with the same old rhetoric 'I've won 30 stages at the Tour' as if the last stage he won was recent, when in actual fact it was over 3 years ago now. He sounds a bit like the Liverpool supporters of the 90's who lived off their past glories from the 70's, still not quite accepting its over.

With the likes of Griepel admitting his peak was done and moving down a level in terms of team and now Vivianna choosing a lesser team, isn't it about time Cav, who's been around just as long if not longer, does the same? I fear the guy is doing his reputation more harm than good now, which I find a real shame as he should be remembered as a legend rather than someone who held on too long and just makes excuses all the time.
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  • Yes.
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 636
    Yes, same as Rossi in motogp.
  • He is going to the European Championship in The Netherlands.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49236671
    Not sure if he is the rider the team will be putting 100% effort behind, but I can't see the point of him being there unless he thinks he can win.
    Personally I will be surprised if he does.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,023
    No I'd rather see him rage against the dying of the light. That's how he came in, refusing to believe the coach that told him he didn't have the watts, that is how he raced and if he is finished I'm glad that is how he is going out. Appreciate different views but that's just what I like.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 842
    No, I don't think Cav is a sad joke.
  • ShutupJensShutupJens Posts: 1,373
    bondurant wrote:
    No, I don't think Cav is a sad joke.

    Agreed. I think that's harsh, I mean there's riders who have had bigger drop offs in performance without so much as an illness to blame for it.

    I would like to see him get back to some sort of competitive level, but would understand if he wanted to call it a day.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,080 Lives Here
    You’ve not seen him do a full season since he’s recovered from his illness.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Being less of a rider now doesn't make him any less of a rider when he did dominate all those sprints.

    At the end of the day we will all peak sooner or later, whatever we do, if people will still pay us good money then I don't blame anyone for taking it.

    Cav is only 34. It's not impossible he can come back to something near his best and start winning again.
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,895
    Sad joke? The guy contracted Epstein Barr Virus and still hasn't recovered. Maybe he'll never make it back to winning ways but I think he's earned the right to decide for himself when to retire or to at least get to a position where a team is no longer prepared to give him that chance.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,745
    He may well be at the end of his career but I think many of us would love to see a last big win to give a literal and metaphorical two fingers to those that find him a sad joke. I’m sure he’s hoping he has this last flourish too but doesn't know if it’ll happen.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,080 Lives Here
    What part of "he was ill the last two years" do folks find difficult to understand?
  • Der KaiserDer Kaiser Posts: 172
    I think the sport loses something without the likes of Cav in its ranks.

    He wants to earn a living from this sport and as long as there is somebody willing to pay him then he should still race.
  • These days, every time he races, something like this crops up.
    Last time out, folks were calling it a day for him, because he abandoned Ionica on stage 2.
    Forget the fact that the stage had to be stopped several times because of the weather (riders taking shelter under trees and in team cars) and that the bus got home over one hour behind the leaders, having taken over seven hours to complete the course.
    18 riders climbed off that day, but for Cav it's taken as definitive proof of his demise.

    He was right at the pointy end yesterday, just behind the podium scrap.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,023
    It's a difficult call for him - it may not be clear to him or his coaches why his form is still so poor - is it the virus, is it lack of racing, age or changes to the body triggered by the virus that remain once the virus is no longer active.

    You have to accept that they saw enough in training to believe he was worth a ride at the Tour - ok there's been no evidence of that in races yet but still early days.

    If the tests they use to determine whether the virus is still active continue to show good news but we are sitting here in 12 months and he hasn't won well I doubt even Cav would be looking to go another year but why not give it every chance.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,023
    It occurred to me that Vos had a similar issue - she is back racing at the top level - she can still beat the best but from what I understand (some of you may know more) she feels she can't train quite as hard as she used to before her illness.

    It's those small percentages which make a difference in elite sport - maybe you can have a good month and think I'm back but the body can no longer string together 2-3 good months that you need to really hit your best.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    EBV is tough to recover from and can be a career killer. Esteban Chaves has been showing signs of recovery (his Vuelta will be a good chance to see how he is doing) and while time isn't on his side due to his age only Cav and his doctors know whether he can return to his best. As much as anything he just needs to build confidence. Being up there at the end of the race is a start, but sprinting is as much in the head as it is in the legs.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    'Internet forum people'
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,190
    bondurant wrote:
    No, I don't think Cav is a sad joke.

    Not as much of a joke as your post.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,367
    For whose benefit would his retirement be? Yours because you don't like it when he doesn't win?

    As long as he wants to carry on riding and someone is willing to give him a contract, good luck to him.

    And your point about Viviani implying he was past it which is why he is moving down a grade by going to Cofidis - he is 30, and in THIS YEAR's Tour, he had four stages in the top 3 including a stage win. Stage wins in the 2018 Giro, 2018 Vuelta and 2019 TdF. Think he's doing OK actually, and more a statement by Cofidis that they want to go up a level.
  • dodgy wrote:
    'Internet forum people'

    Of which you are one. :-)
  • For whose benefit would his retirement be? Yours because you don't like it when he doesn't win?

    As long as he wants to carry on riding and someone is willing to give him a contract, good luck to him.

    And your point about Viviani implying he was past it which is why he is moving down a grade by going to Cofidis - he is 30, and in THIS YEAR's Tour, he had four stages in the top 3 including a stage win. Stage wins in the 2018 Giro, 2018 Vuelta and 2019 TdF. Think he's doing OK actually, and more a statement by Cofidis that they want to go up a level.

    Its not about wether I dont like it when he doesn't win, although yes, I don't like it because I do want to see him win. It's more about has his time come and should he retire given he's obviously not the Cav of old. Of course I want to see him win, which part of my post did you dream up in your mind where I want to see him lose? Strange.

    At no point did I say Vivianni was past it either, I said that maybe he's recognising hes hitting that point in his career where managing his expectations is a reality now, therefore hes going to a slightly lesser team. The fact being though that Vivianni is nearly 5 years younger than Cav so if he's accepting a new direction shouldn't Cav be? The difference also is that Cav (as I pointed out in my OP) still talks like hes the Cav of old, like he's still doing it and winning races but quite clearly, he isn't.

    You could argue, that Dimension Data not taking him to the Tour was their was of nudging him a bit to open his eyes up without shouting in his face 'Cav, you're past it son'.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,367

    At no point did I say Vivianni was past it either, I said that maybe he's recognising hes hitting that point in his career where managing his expectations is a reality now, therefore hes going to a slightly lesser team. The fact being though that Vivianni is nearly 5 years younger than Cav so if he's accepting a new direction shouldn't Cav be?

    Viviani has won 8 Grand Tour stages since the start of last year, and been in the top three on 9 other stages. I don't think he's accepting a new direction towards pipe and slippers. I guess he's only won 8 races so far this year as against 18 last year but it's still not bad.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,282
    Really properly CBA to look it up but I'm pretty sure the "Cav is finished" trope dates back to at least 2012...
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,779
    Sprinters do drop off over time.

    I can't think of many sprinters able to still be winning in their mid-30's. I think Petacchi kept going but his wins did very much drop off.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,034
    squired wrote:
    EBV is tough to recover from and can be a career killer.


    Epstein Barr Virus is Glandular Fever. I wish people would refer to it as such. I guess it's just "on trend" to call it EBV as it sounds so much worse than Glandular Fever. I bet most of us here have either had that as kids/teens or know someone who has back in the day. Yes, it's nasty but given time most people make a full recovery and live as if it never happened. I believe that as you get older it takes more time to recover from, as do most things.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    dodgy wrote:
    'Internet forum people'

    Of which you are one. :-)

    Woooosh
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,190
    It’s the cause of Glandular fever (which is actually infectious mononucleosis). It’s also associated with some lymphomas, cancers and autoimmune diseases. It’s most definitely not one and the same as GF.

    Most people do recover. But trying to do so as an elite athlete is a different matter entirely. I had it at 15 and it took me out for the whole year and I had to drop back a year at school. Took a good 4-5 years to feel 100%.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,684
    photonic69 wrote:
    squired wrote:
    EBV is tough to recover from and can be a career killer.


    Epstein Barr Virus is Glandular Fever. I wish people would refer to it as such. I guess it's just "on trend" to call it EBV as it sounds so much worse than Glandular Fever. I bet most of us here have either had that as kids/teens or know someone who has back in the day. Yes, it's nasty but given time most people make a full recovery and live as if it never happened. I believe that as you get older it takes more time to recover from, as do most things.
    Some people get a chest infection and it’s fine, some people get a chest infection then pneumonia and die.
    Your point is what?
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 842
    gweeds wrote:
    bondurant wrote:
    No, I don't think Cav is a sad joke.

    Not as much of a joke as your post.

    No idea what you mean by that I'm afraid.
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,190
    bondurant wrote:
    gweeds wrote:
    bondurant wrote:
    No, I don't think Cav is a sad joke.

    Not as much of a joke as your post.

    No idea what you mean by that I'm afraid.

    That was me quoting the wrong post :oops:
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
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