On Air The Morning Show Marc Tyley | 9:30am - Noon

Cav back in the pack on stage one

Mark Cavendish finished 66th on stage one of the Tour of California yesterday, in a group some thirteen-and-a-half minutes behind the leading riders.

The stage was won by Francesco Mancebo, taking the yellow jersey in the process, with the other big news being that previous leader Fabian Cancellara has pulled out due to a fever.

Mancebo is something of a controversial figure.

He was one of the riders named in Operacion Puerto in 2006, a Spanish doping case against doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and a number of accomplices.

Mancebo was prevented from riding that year's Tour de France when, on the eve of the race riders whose names were on Dr Fuentes' list were sent home by their teams.

He in fact left before his then team AG2R sent him home and immediately announced plans to retire.

This year Tour of California organisers AEG did not bar anyone, unlike last year when they prevented three riders, Oscar Sevilla, Tyler Hamilton and Santiago Botero from starting, using the fact there was an open investigation against their names.

Mancebo squirmed his way through the press conference in Santa Rosa yesterday, saying he never retired, adding the reason he promptly left his team's hotel in Strasbourg in 2006 was because they didn't believe him.

Today the riders will tackle the 115 miles from Sausalito to Santa Cruz, which contains a couple of moderate climbs but should give Cavendish the chance of a stage victory with the finish likely to be contested by the sprinters.

They get under way at 8.30am Pacific time, which is 4.30pm here.

More from Isle of Man Sport