British sprinter Mark Cavendish plans to continue to race the Tour Down Under despite cuts and bruises from a crash at the end of stage two to Mannum, Australia.
“I hope so, that’s why I finished,” said Cavendish. “We will see if these flies don’t rule me out.”
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Cavendish kept his sense of humour despite swarming flies and a crash in the final four kilometres. He came down with HTC-Highroad team-mate Matt Goss and Sky’s Chris Sutton.
HTC’s and Sky’s lead-out trains led the race through a left-hand bend. HTC was on the left, next to the barriers and Sky was to the right. Both teams said it was a normal incident.
“It was just a normal sprint crash,” Cavendish explained.
“It always squeezes in, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just hard when you have teams of eight riders [fighting for space].
“There is no need to take too many risks, I wasn’t taken risks. Bike racing isn’t safe. It’s just one of them things.”
HTC’s doctor tended to Cavendish after the stage, reportedly giving him two stitches above his left eye. Cavendish had scrapes down his left side of his body, however, he ruled out any broken bones.
“No,” Cavendish said. “I’m okay; it’s that shit happens, crashes happen.”
“There is always a little bit of chaos in the last corners,” added Goss. “It doesn’t take much.”
Australia’s Goss followed Cavendish prior to the crash because the team was working to defend his lead. He ripped his jersey and lost the lead to Robbie McEwen, but is able to continue racing.
Brit Ben Swift won the stage for Team Sky. He took responsibly to try for the win after Sutton’s crash.
The Australian took the biggest blow to his left knee. He said there is “a big hole” in it and that he will have it examined later. He plans to continue racing tomorrow.
“I was feeling really good, we were in the top ten going through that corner, then it just went everywhere. That’s life,” said Sutton.
“I think there was a bit of loose gravel. With loose gravel on the corner, of course you are going to come down.”
Australian Bernard Sulzberger will not start tomorrow’s stage to Stirling. He fractured his collarbone and will have to abandon.