CAV ON TOUR DOWN UNDER

Mark Cavendish has effectively been banned from riding pre-Tour Down Under warm-up races in Australia by the event's organiser, leaving Cav to use his Cheltenham Hospitality Tickets for a day at the races instead.

Cavendish is attending the Tour Down Under, Adelaide, in January with his travel expenses paid for by the organiser, according to Australian newspaper the Age. TdU organisers evidently consider that if they pay for Cavendish's attendance, it is them that should reap the benefit of his appearance in Australia.

John Craven, race director of the Australian open road championships in Ballarat, is one of the organisers to lose out on the particiapation of visiting cycling stars.

"It's my understanding that the Tour Down Under writes into all overseas riders' contracts that they are here to ride one event only," Craven told the Age.

"Good luck to them, they run a wonderful event for Australian cycling, but it's a closed shop as far as dishing any of their riders out to other events."