Vuelta a Espana - Teams reject Cavendish claim
Reuters - Fri, 10 Sep 19:59:00 2010
Mark Cavendish's accusation that American Tyler Farrar and Wouter Weylandt of Belgium collaborated to put him at a disadvantage in the Tour of Spain points competition has been rejected by his rivals' teams.
The Briton, who won his second straight stage on Friday, said Farrar of Garmin-Transitions had been helped by Weylandt of the Quick Step squad during the day's 13th stage.
But sports directors from the teams denied there was any collaboration between their two fast men in an intermediate sprint in the town of Calahorra to beat Cavendish.
"I don't believe the two were working together," Bingen Fernandez of Garmin-Transitions told Reuters.
"I haven't actually seen the sprint in question, but I don't think it would happen. From what I heard, each rider did his own sprint and that was that."
Quick Step's director Wilfried Peeters was equally adamant there had been no collaboration.
"It's true Tyler and Wouter are friends and train together because they live in the same town of Ghent," Peeters was quoted as saying on cycling website www.velonews.com
"But Wouter's not helping Tyler at all, that's for sure. They're both doing their own race."
Farrar finished first in the intermediate sprint in question with Weylandt second and Cavendish third. The Briton leads overall by 21 from Farrar in the sprinter standings.
Cavendish told Reuters his protest to race officials against the sprint result was not successful but feared the alliance could cause him problems in his points jersey bid.
"Wouter's helping Farrar and that's going to make it more difficult for us to control the points competition," Cavendish said. "If you've got two guys from different teams working together that's always going to be more difficult."
Igor Anton of Spain retained the overall lead in the Tour of Spain which finishes in Madrid on Sept. 19.