The Manx rider was one of 19 riders who couldn't keep on. One of them was the time trial winner Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank). 61 riders finished the stage, so many riders have left at this point. Has it been an extremely tough race? It doesn't really matter, Cavendish would probably have had difficulties anyway.
"It's over now and my condition's improving fast but it was the worst pain I've ever felt, it hurt so much I was crying like a baby," Cavendish told the Independent.
"Once I had a wisdom tooth out without anaesthetic, this was more painful. The infection killed the nerve on one tooth and another had to be taken out. There was one point where to swab it they had to cut it with a knife. The truth is that I wouldn't wish the pain I felt on anybody."
Michael Rogers of HTC-Columbia won the Ruta del Sol. He also had a very good time trial. Time trial is often extremely important for stage races. There is always an advantage if racing well at time trials. But well, we all know that it works well even without talent. Andy Schleck is proof enough.