Cavendish out of Tour with bro­ken shoul­der

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Sprint ace Mark Cavendish pulled out of the Tour de France on Tues­day, hours af­ter suf­fer­ing a bro­ken shoul­der blade in a hor­ror crash at the end of the fourth stage. Cavendish had gone to hos­pi­tal af­ter world cham­pion Peter Sa­gan el­bowed him into the rail­ings by the side of the road at the fin­ish in Vit­tel. Sa­gan was kicked off the Tour for his part in the crash but his Bora team stated they had ap­pealed against the de­ci­sion by the Tour’s race com­mis­sion. Late on Tues­day evening, Cavendish’s Di­men­sion Data team posted a pic­ture of the Bri­tish rider on Twit­ter with his arm in a sling, re­veal­ing that he was pulling out of the Tour.

“I’m ob­vi­ously mas­sively dis­ap­pointed to get this news about the frac­ture,” said Cavendish. “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.” A bloodied Cavendish had ear­lier de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion from Sa­gan for the el­bow that sent him crash­ing into the bar­ri­ers, and then to the tar­mac, at the end of the 207.5km stage from Mon­dorf-les-Bains to Vit­tel. Sa­gan had gone to see Cavendish af­ter the stage but the Bri­ton was still left per­plexed as to why the Slo­vak world cham­pion had el­bowed him as they jos­tled for po­si­tion down the right-hand side of the road at the sprint fin­ish. “I was mas­sively grate­ful that Peter came directly af­ter the fin­ish to see me-I have a good re­la­tion­ship with Peter,” said Cavendish. “Even with the move­ment to the right, ob­vi­ously I wouldn’t be happy but that’s rac­ing. But I was a lit­tle bit con­fused with the el­bow, that’s some­thing I’d like to speak to him about.”

The Tour’s race jury had ear­lier de­cided to ex­clude Sa­gan for the rest of the Tour. “We’ve de­cided to dis­qual­ify Peter Sa­gan from the Tour de France 2017 as he en­dan­gered some of his col­leagues se­ri­ously in the fi­nal me­tres of the sprint which hap­pened in Vit­tel,” said the pres­i­dent of the race com­mis­sion, Philippe Marien.

But Bora said they had ap­pealed. “The team dis­agrees with the de­ci­sion and protested it of­fi­cially,” said Bora in a state­ment. “The team ap­plied for a re­dress of Peter Sa­gan’s re­sult in stage 4.” Sa­gan added: “In the sprint I didn’t know that Mark Cavendish was be­hind me.

“He was com­ing from the right side, and I was try­ing to go on (Alexan­der) Kristoff’s wheel. Mark was com­ing re­ally fast from the back and I just didn’t have time to re­act and to go left. “He came into me and he went into the fence. When I was told af­ter the fin­ish that Mark had crashed, I went straight away to find out how he was do­ing. “We are friends and col­leagues in the pelo­ton and crashes like that are never nice. I hope Mark re­cov­ers soon.”

It con­tin­ues a ter­ri­ble sea­son for Cavendish. The 32-year-old Isle of Man born sprint ace-who has 30 stage wins to his name since 2008 — headed into this year’s race hav­ing missed two months re­cov­er­ing from glan­du­lar fever. — AFP

VIT­TEL: A com­bi­na­tion of pic­tures shows (From L, Up to bot­tom) Slo­vakia’s Peter Sa­gan rid­ing; France’s Ar­naud De­mare cross­ing the fin­ish line; Slo­vakia’s Peter Sa­gan (2ndL) giv­ing a kick of el­bow and Great Bri­tain’s Mark Cavendish (L) fall­ing near the fin­ish line ; and Great Bri­tain’s Mark Cavendish, in­jured, cross­ing the fin­ish line af­ter fall­ing ; as part of the 207.5 km fourth stage of the 104th edi­tion of the Tour de France cy­cling race on Tues­day be­tween Mon­dorf-les-Bains and Vit­tel. — AFP

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