The young Slovak is now making headlines after his photo finish victory during Stage 16 of the Tour de' France race this year, leaving Alexander Kristoff of team Katusha for that coveted win.
The Isle of Man sprinter won four stages, including the first at Utah Beach, to take the yellow jersey for the first time in his career.
Two weeks after the Tour, Froome is aiming to win the Olympic road race and time trial, and then in August and September he is nearly certain to attempt to win the Vuelta a Espana, so emerging from these three weeks as fresh as possible is of paramount importance.
"Phenomenal rider", Froome said of the long-haired rider with the Tinkoff team.
"For me it was a normal day on the bike, like every day, but I feel very sad for the people who lost their loved ones".
He said: "It was pretty sketchy, a lot of road furniture out there, and over those cobbles I was just trying to stay out of trouble".
Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar), runner-up to Froome in 2013 and 2015, has been promising attacks but has been toothless so far and the other big names just do not seem strong enough.
Team Sky's general classification leader Froome finished comfortably in the peloton to remain a minute and 47 seconds better off than Bauke Mollema, with Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana remaining third and fourth respectively overall.
"Today it was just about not taking any risks", Froome said.
Cavendish, 31, won four stages at this year's Tour to increase his tally to 30 overall - second on the all-time list behind Belgian great Eddy Merckx.
The stage was the ideal tribute to Fabian Cancellara, who is from Bern.
Wednesday's first Alpine stage takes the peloton on a 184.5-kilometer ride to the ski resort of Finhaut-Emosson, and features a punishing 10-kilometer final climb to the finish.
Two Etixx-Quick Step riders, Tony Martin and Julian Alaphilippe, spent most of the 209 kilometre stage from Moirans-en-Montagne out alone in front after attacking early on. Only a handful of riders - seven so far in 113 years of Tour de France racing - have won cycling's toughest race more than twice.
Cavendish quit the race after his first four stage wins in 2008 to switch focus to the Madison, but could finish only ninth in Beijing alongside Bradley Wiggins, despite the pair being world champions.
"I'm actually surprised he didn't attack on that last climb and ride away solo, but he still managed to win the stage".
Former world champion Rui Costa then jumped away from the pack but the Portuguese was reined in with 5km left in the streets of Bern.