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Cavendish can't ride in tour warm-ups

Mark Cavendish is among the cyclists who have had restrictions placed on them riding in Australia.

The ‘Manx Missile’, widely considered road racing's top sprinter, is among the riders unable to attend warm-up races in Victoria before the Tour Down Under next month.

According to the director of a warm-up event, Tour Down Under organisers are stifling the growth of the sport domestically.

The agreement with the tour, which is paying the travelling expenses of Cavendish, stipulates he would not be allowed to race in Victoria even if he and his team wanted him to.

‘I would love him to ride,’ said John Craven, the race director of the Australian open road championships, which are held before the South Australian race.

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

'In terms of the growth of the Australian open road championships, while some of the people have their current attitudes we go in with our hands tied behind our backs. There are some attitudes from a minority of people in Australian cycling which are restrictive to its advancement.'

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