Mark Cavendish says he will apologise in person to Simon Gerrans after Harrogate crash incident

Mark Cavendish took the blame for the crash at the end of Tour de France stage one today in Harrogate, England. He bumped against Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and they both tumbled in the final 250 metres with a Cofidis rider.

“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,” Cavendish said in a press release from his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.

“In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn’t really there. I wanted to win today. I felt really strong and was in a great position to contest the sprint.”

Cavendish appeared to push to the left to free himself and go for the stage win in his mother’s hometown. He leaned against Gerrans who had to move left and hit Bryan Coquard (Europcar).

The pile up ruined his and others’ chances to fight for the sprint and they yellow jersey that Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) eventually won. Gerrans finished dirty and with a ripped jersey, but reported that he was OK.

“I’m going to be pretty sore tomorrow,” Gerrans said. “I’ve lost quite a bit of skin off my back and hips and stuff. But the main thing is that nothing is broken and I can start tomorrow.”

Omega Pharma will decide with Cavendish if he will race stage two on Sunday. Its press release read, “The imaging underlined ligament ruptures with an AC-joint dislocation, which causes him a lot of pain.”

Cavendish spoke briefly to Australia’s Gerrans as they went to their buses but it was unclear what he said. After the dust settled, however, he clearly accepted the blame.

“Sorry to all the fans that came out to support,” he said, “it was truly incredible.”

  • Andy

    I thought at the time it happened that the English commentators and English newspaper websites were keeping quiet (biased), so I watched my recording in slow motion, but still thought it was entirely Cav’s fault – then posted as such. I was very pleased to see the next day that Cav did assume all the fault.

  • poisonjunction

    Well spotted JamesM2, far to many ‘armchair experts’ don’t bother with video footage evidence – they just read the headlines – and follow the herd!

  • JamesM2

    I watched the video in slow motion. He did not cause the crash.
    The cause is the rider in green, two riders to his left, on the right side of the screen. Watch how the green rider shoves the yellow rider out of the way, who then pushes Cavendish in black off his wheels.
    Cavendish falls but it is the result of a chain reaction started by the rider in green. Go watch the video of the 2 seconds before the fall, in slow motion.

  • David Simons

    This guy again? Seems he has a habit of doing this, and at this point an apology would be quite useless.

  • dourscot

    Nice piece – unlike the bizarre anti-Cav rant in the other article about stage one.