Omega Pharma – Quick-Step has confirmed that Mark Cavendish will not continue with this year’s Tour de France due to injuries suffered just metres from the finish line in Harrogate at the end of Stage 1. Despite initial fears of a fractured collarbone an x-ray at Harrogate District hospital showed no bones broken, but a subsequent MRI scan revealed an AC-joint dislocation and ruptured ligaments. However, having assessed his condition overnight, the team have announced that he is in no condition to continue.
Speaking after the crash in Yorkshire Cavendish commented: ‘I’m gutted about the crash today. It was my fault. I’ll personally apologise to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance. In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn’t really there. I wanted to win today, I felt really strong and in a great position to contest the sprint thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team. Sorry to all the fans that came out to support; it was truly incredible.’
The loss of Cavendish from the OPQS team leaves them somewhat floundering this early on in the TdF; it also leaves just three British riders – Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Simon Yates – in the Tour.
Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel was the winner of Stage 1. The tour continues today with 201km York to Sheffield.