Mark Cavendish drops out of Tour de France after earning cool £44,000 in prize money

Joe Hall
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Le Tour de France 2016 - Stage Sixteen
Cavendish won four stages on this year's Tour (Source: Getty)

Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France with five stages remaining but will still take home a cool €52,670 (£44,00) in prize money for his two and half weeks work.

The 31-year-old is dropping out to focus on preparations for the Rio Olympics — where he hopes to win his first medal — which begins in just over two weeks.

Cavendish won four stages on this year's Tour to take his career total to 30, putting him second on the all-time list behind Belgian Eddy Merckx on 34.

Read more: Why you should visit the Tour de France

The winner of each stage on the Tour is paid €11,000, meaning those four victories alone were worth €44,000 to the Manxman.

Cavendish received a further boost to his earnings when wearing the yellow and green jerseys worn by the classification leader and leader on points, worth €500 and €300 to the respective holders each day.

The Team Dimension Data rider had a single day in the yellow jersey after winning stage one but as a sprint specialist was more commonly seen in the green jersey which he sported five times.

In total, the jersey bonuses were worth €2,000 to his bank balance.

Cavendish scored six finishes between 20th and 160th position, worth €1,000 each and on stage four he came eighth, worth €670.

Sunday's final stage, which features the Tour's famed sprint finish on the Champs-Elysees, is a flat route that could have likely offered Cavendish, who won it four times in succession between 2009 and 2012, an opportunity to add another €11,000 to his Tour pay packet and pull closer to Merckx's record.

Yet the cyclist believes continuing on testing Mountain routes before that could have threatened his chances to win a first Olympic medal.

“After the heat and intensity of the previous stages, we analysed my fatigue levels and decided I’m at a point that would have a detrimental effect on my other big goal for the year, the Olympic Games," he said.

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