MARK CAVENDISH is bemused as to why Chris Froome is not adored by the British public after winning his fourth Tour de France.
The 31-year-old faced the agony of watching the Tour de France on TV with a broken shoulder, while his fellow Brit won an historic fourth title.
But Froome was not even nominated for Sports Personality of the Year after winning the race last year.
Cavendish is chasing a Tour record of his own, with 30 career stage wins to his name, four short of legend Eddy Merckx.
But he told the British public Froome ticks all the right boxes after brilliantly winning another Tour, leaving him just one short of Merckx & Co on five Yellow Jerseys.
Cavendish, who won SPOTY in 2011, said: “He focuses so much on the Tour de France and he wins the Tour de France. Job done.
“I’m not the public, it’s not for me to focus on.
“He’s a good guy Froomie, he treats his team-mates well but I really don’t know.
“I don’t think Sky would build such a strong team around someone if they didn’t think that rider couldn’t win the Tour de France.
“Without a team, Froome would probably win anyway, but with that team the chance of him losing are slim or nonexistent. It works for them and Sky have won five out of the past six Tours de France.”
Cavendish, talking at a RideLondon and Amstel promotion event, is hoping to come back to cycling when the Tour of Britain starts in Edinburgh on September 3 and also wants to ride the world championship road race in Norway on September 24.
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MOST TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE WINS
- Eddy Merckx – Belgium – 34
- MARK CAVENDISH – GREAT BRITAIN – 30
- Bernard Hinault – France – 28
- Andre Leducq – France – 25
- Andre Darrigade – France – 22
- Nicolas Frantz – Luxembourg – 20
- Francois Faber – Luxembourg – 19
- Jean Alaboine – France – 17
- Jacques Anquetil, Rene Le Greve, Charles Pelissier – France – 16
- Freddy Maertens – Belgium – 15
He also rapped the “sick” keyboard warriors who sent vile messages to him and wife Peta about their children following sprint smash in Vittel on July 4.
He added: “It’s going to be another three weeks before I can even ride the road again. After that I’ll get racing and I’ll be racing before the end of the year.
“I should get back for the Tour of Britain – I love to ride my home race – but being competitive is another thing.
“The World Championships is a big goal this year. It’s quite a similar course to the Olympics in 2012.
“You wouldn’t say it’s a Mark Cavendish course, but if I trained properly for it and dropped a few more kilos, then I could be competitive and I wanted to do that, but that’s not really too possible now.”
But he still has big aims in the sport.
Cavendish wants to try and reach Belgian legend Merckx’s record of 34 Tour stage wins and have another tilt at Olympic madison gold in 2020 before considering retirement.
MOST TOUR DE FRANCE WINS
- 5 – Jacques Anquetil (France), Eddy Merckx (Belgium), Bernard Hinault (France), Miguel Indurain (Spain)
- 4 – CHRIS FROOME (GREAT BRITAIN)
- 3 – Philippe Thys (Belgium), Louison Bobet (France), Greg LeMond (USA)
He added: “It never really was a target, it was something that when we were growing as a cycling nation (we still are) I will get asked why I’m not winning the Tour.
“Froomie’s just won the Tour de France without winning a stage and I can win five stages and not win the Tour.
“There’s a way of putting that into words, actually what I was doing. It always got brought up but it never got talked about, until last year when I got to 30.
“I actually thought ‘I can be the record stage winner’ so it wasn’t till last year I actually thought ‘I want to win four or five stages.’
“Before this year I wasn’t sure if this was my last contract, to be fair.
“And then the Madison was announced at the Tokyo Games, and I thought ‘right I’m going to go to 2020’ because I have to do that.
“Three-times world champion, two of us in history have been three times world champion. I thought ‘I have to go’.
“Then I got ill, I got Epstein-Barr and trained for only six weeks for the Tour de France. When I realised I was up there on six weeks’ training, the stage I crashed in, I’m still pretty confident I would have won it.
“I’m still competitive, I believe I’m the best and I believe I will be for a fair few more years. So it’s given me the confidence to keep going.”
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