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Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) did not race the individual time trial Thursday at the Tour of Poland in order to be ready for the Commonwealth Games.
The Isle of Man athlete already was the flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies at the Commonwealth Games in late July, but raced the first five stages at the WorldTour race in Poland.
After falling short in the first two sprints in Poland, Cavendish left the race early to be as fresh as possible for the elite men’s 160km road race around Warwick on Sunday.
“I’m sorry to leave the boys and the race,” Cavendish said.”But at the same time I’m looking forward to racing for the Isle of Man at this great event.”
What a privilege to carry the flag for our little Team Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony last night.
So proud to walk into the stadium alongside my brilliant teammates, each one of us looking to make 85,000 people proud back at home. 🇮🇲🤩❤️ pic.twitter.com/6S0YEeI6jr
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) July 29, 2022
Cavendish, who was a flag-bearer for the Isle of Man at the opening ceremony, won the island’s last Commonwealth gold medal in the scratch race at Melbourne in 2006.
Cavendish has not competed at the Commonwealth Games since 2010 where he finished seventh in the road race, the BBC reported.
Right now, there are no more confirmed races on Cavendish’s road racing schedule.
After leaving Cavendish off the Tour de France roster, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boss Patrick Lefevere confirmed that Cavendish will not be back on the team for 2023, and Cavendish is looking for a team to race for what he hopes is at least two more seasons in the World Tour.
On Thursday Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl confirmed three new signings for next season, including Belgian sprinter Tim Merlier.