Cavendish works hard early, abandons worlds defense

Defending world champion Mark Cavendish has withdrawn from the road race in Valkenburg after working for Great Britain early

VALKENBURG, Netherlands (AFP) — British rider Mark Cavendish’s defense of his world road race title ended on Sunday as he retired from the race with 111 kilometers to go.

The 27-year-old had not been expected to be a contender for the title this time round as the undulating 267km course was less suited to his talents than the circuit he won on in Copenhagen last year.

Cavendish, who last year became the first British rider since the late Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the world title, had set the pace on several occasions at the head of the peloton before finally giving up.