Another day in the grupetto for Mark Cavendish on Stage 13 riding into Lourdes. Sounds like his team may need a miracle to survive into 2012 as team owner, Bob Stapleton, continues his search for a title sponsor as HTC has yet to commit beyond the end of this year. It is slightly incredulous that pro cycling's most "winningest" team since 2008 should be struggling for funding... Here's hoping that they pull through and keep Mark in the team (there are plenty of rumours linking him to Team Sky).
Bob Stapleton was interviewed on Radio 5 Live this evening and described Mark as "the best", that he has been with the team for 5 years and was hopeful that he would continue with them into 2012. No mention of sponsorship, but Bob made the point very well that it was a team which nurtured young talent and that should Mark leave that the team would continue down that route. He loved the team winning races (or stages) but that he was very hopeful that Mark would wear green into Paris this year. The presenters also talked to Bob about daily life on the Tour for the riders, i.e. the recovery process and so on. Bob stressed it was a team effort, not just about him, but all of the "support staff", i.e. management, mechanics etc plus the riders. It was a great interview and Bob came across as a very positive guy.