Mark Cavendish blamed team-mate Mark Renshaw for his failure to win stage two at the Tour de France.
Mark Cavendish blamed team-mate Mark Renshaw for his failure to win stage two at the Tour de France, while his manager Patrick Lefevere hit out at the British sprinter.
Renshaw and Cavendish have been one of the most successful sprinting combinations in road cycling over the past decade, with the Australian lead-out man playing a key role in the latter's success at both now-defunct HTC-Highroad and now at Etixx-Quick Step.
But Cavendish claimed Renshaw released him too early on the island of Neeltje Jans in Zeeland, as Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory) overhauled the Manxman just before the line on Sunday.
Cancellara's third-place finish saw the Swiss claim the yellow jersey ahead of Cavendish's team-mate Tony Martin.
"The day Cancellara beats me in a sprint I've gone too long. I've gassed it," Cavendish said.
"I think Mark [Renshaw] went too early and kind of left me hanging. We died. It's disappointing, Tony's [Martin] disappointed.
"I have just watched it back on the video and the guys behind played it perfect. I reckon I could get a job as a lead-out man for them."
But Lefevere was unimpressed by Cavendish's take on the finish, claiming the 30-year-old gave up.
"Cavendish stopped sprinting and this costs Tony the jersey. I am not happy at all. Probably this was our last chance to take the yellow jersey," the 60-year-old general manager said.
"Cavendish? I think he should be disappointed. We were the most hard-working team but we finish empty-handed."
Cavendish later hit out at his critics on Twitter as well, although it was not clear whether he was referring to Lefevere.
"Look at this photo. If I could hang on for 3rd, I could hang on for the win," he wrote.
"Some imbeciles think cycling is a computer game. Problem is, social media TV are platforms for them to be heard. Gutted for @tonymartin85. Congratulations @AndreGreipel."