Mark Cavendish and Bernie Eisel (Sky) are expected to start tomorrow’s stage five of the Tour de France despite both crashing with 2.6km to race of today’s sprint finish into Rouen.

The World Champion and his team-mate came down as a cross-wind tore across the bunch in the closing kilometres of stage four, which also brought down Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Sharp).

Both Sky men were able to remount and made it to the finish before receiving immediate medical treatment for cuts and bruises at the team bus.

“I’ve spoken to the doctor and both guys have got superficial injuries except for Bernie who has quite a deep laceration above his eye and has had some stitches,” explained Sky manager Dave Brailsford.

“The doc reckons that they will both be fine to start tomorrow. There are no broken bones, that’s the key thing. It’s just that cut above Bernie’s eye and he’s having that looked at now.”

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the final sprint from a much reduced peloton, ahead of Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano).

However Sky’s directeur sportif, Sean Yates, believes Cavendish, who led the bunch through the intermediate sprint of the day, would have been able to challenge the German once again.

“It’s a chance missed,” said Yates. “He felt pretty good today and we saw in the intermediate sprint the turn of speed he showed.

“Obviously he’s not too happy. That’s definitely a sprint he would have been up there in.”

Cavendish’s girlfriend Peta Todd was also unhappy with the day’s events, posting on her Twitter: “And that is what happens when you take a a man that is so harshly marked to the tour without protection. This is peoples lives. If you haven’t got the intention of making sure you have the team to look after the World Champ. Don’t just wing it. He is just a man.”

Tomorrow’s 196.5km stage from Rouen to St. Quentin is the first of this year’s Tour to feature no categorised climbs and will almost certainly be another chance for Cavendish and the sprinters to claim a coveted stage win once again.

Related links

Greipel wins Tour de France stage four after Cavendish caught in crash

Injury report: Tour de France stage four



  • kev turton

    Mark Jones…that’s very cynical…he signed for a British team Because he wants to make a difference in british cycling….he’s already said he’s along for the ride and wants Wiggo to win and to be a part of that team ……teamwork is what Cav is all about,he’s proven that time and time again…he’s an unselfish rider who takes far more abuse than he deserves…yes he has an ego the size of the eiffell tower ……but what winner hasn’t?….he’s a winner and thet is something i guess you have NEVER experienced……….

  • Mark Jones

    Well if he’s not happy, assuming Peta Todd’s tweet reflects his opinion, then he should have signed for a team who was able to dedicate their entire Tour for him. I’m sure she’s very happy with the lifestyle that Cav’s signing to Team Sky has brought her.

  • Steve

    Mixed feelings. Leaving the World Champion and fastest sprinter with such little protection and no lead out is a recipe for disaster. The chaos in each sprint stage finish clearly indicates this with three or four teams vying for dominance and GC riders confusing the issue further. But Cav chose Sky and understands that Wiggo must be priority in this tour. At the moment he must wish he was with another team. Great to see the joy in Griepel’s team today, tho’. It’s gripping viewing!