Cavendish with­draws, Sa­gan gets the boot

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

VIT­TEL, France — Mark Cavendish has been forced out of the Tour de France af­ter frac­tur­ing a shoul­der blade in a se­ri­ous crash caused by world cham­pion Peter Sa­gan, who was dis­qual­i­fied from cy­cling’s show­case event.

Hours af­ter Tues­day’s crash in a chaotic sprint fin­ish to Stage 4, Cavendish’s Team Di­men­sion Data said on its Twit­ter feed that “Un­for­tu­nately, @MarkCavendish has been forced to with­draw from #TDF2017.”

The Bri­tish rider sus­tained hand and shoul­der in­juries in the crash, and was taken to a hos­pi­tal for checks.

“I’m ob­vi­ously mas­sively dis­ap­pointed to get this news about the frac­ture,” Cavendish said. “The team was in­cred­i­ble to­day.

“They ex­e­cuted to per­fec­tion what we wanted to do this morn­ing. I feel I was in a good po­si­tion to win and to lose that and even hav­ing to leave the Tour, a race I have built my whole ca­reer around, is re­ally sad.”

The crash oc­curred about 50 me­ters from the end of the stage, when Sa­gan el­bowed Cavendish, who was squeezed against the bar­ri­ers to his right, out of the way.

Cavendish slammed into the bar­ri­ers and two other rid­ers plowed over the Bri­tish sprint spe­cial­ist, a win­ner of 30 Tour stages.

He must bring the big for­eign stars and the Chi­nese play­ers to­gether and get them to play for each other. It is not about qual­ity, it is about mo­ti­va­tion.” Gary White, on Capello’s chal­lenge at Jiangsu

“Mark suf­fered a frac­ture to the right scapula,” Team Di­men­sion Data doc­tor Adrian Ro­tunno said. “For­tu­nately no surgery is re­quired at this stage, and most im­por­tantly there is no nerve dam­age.

“He’s been with­drawn from the race for ob­vi­ous med­i­cal rea­sons, and we’ ll con­tinue mon­i­tor­ing him over the com­ing days.”

Race jury pres­i­dent Philippe Marien of the UCI said race rules al­lowed or­ga­niz­ers to dis­qual­ify rid­ers in “se­ri­ous cases”.

“We have de­cided to dis­qual­ify Peter Sa­gan from the 2017 Tour de France af­ter the tu­mul­tuous sprint here in Vit­tel, where he en­dan­gered sev­eral rid­ers, in­clud­ing Mark Cavendish and oth­ers who were in­volved in the crash,” Marien said.

Apart from dop­ing of­fenses, dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions are rare on the Tour. In 2010, Aus­tralian Mark Ren­shaw was thrown out for a head-butt that cleared a path in a sprint for his team­mate Cavendish to win the stage in Bourg-Les-Va­lence.

“I get on with Peter well, but I don’t get ... if he came across is one thing, but the el­bow. I’m not a fan of him putting his el­bow in me like that,” Cavendish said.

“A crash is a crash, I’d just like to know about the el­bow, re­ally,” Cavendish added. “I’d just like to speak to him about it.”

Af­ter the crash, Sa­gan went over to see how Cavendish was and pat­ted him on the back.

The Slo­vak said later he had apol­o­gized to Cavendish.

“It’s not nice to crash like that,” said Sa­gan, who fin­ished the stage in sec­ond place be­hind De­mare.

“It’s the sprint. I just didn’t know that Mark was be­hind me,” Sa­gan added. “He was com­ing pretty fast from the back and af­ter I just didn’t have time to re­act, and he ran into the fence.”

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