British sprinter Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) crashed within the final two kilometres of the first stage of Circuit Franco-Belge today, his team reported, but was uninjured and will continue racing. The Manxman has been hoping to score his 11th win of the season at the event - there are three more stages remaining.
According to his T-Mobile team directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman Cavendish was uninjured and will continue to race without any problems.
The stage was won by Aurelian Clerc (Bouygues Telecom) in a final sprint showdown in Mouscron, Belgium, after Cavendish's T-Mobile team-mates had wound up the pace to lead him out before he crashed out.
After a fast first hour, a day-long break by Freddy Bichot (Agritubel) and Marco Marcato (LPR) was only reeled in - largely thanks to T-Mobile - with eight kilometres left to race.
Tomorrow's 204.8km stage crosses the border into France, starting in Maubeuge and finishing in Templeuve. Flat and exposed, it is highly likely to end in another sprint.
CIRCUIT FRANCO-BELGE 2007: STAGE ONE RESULT
1 Aurelian Clerc (Bouygues Telecom)
2 Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole)
3 Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
4 Allan Davis (Discovery Channel)
5 Tyler Farrar (Cofidis)
9 Roger Hammond (T-Mobile)
49 Steve Cummings (Discovery)
127 Dan Lloyd (DFL)
174 Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) all st
Aurelian Clerc took stage one of the 2007 Circuit Franco-Belge.
CIRCUIT FRANCO-BELGE 2007: STAGE LIST
Stage 1 - October 4: Mouscron (Belgium) - Mouscron (Belgium) 177.3 km
Stage 2 - October 5: Maubeuge (France) - Templeuve (France) 204.8 km
Stage 3 - October 6: Bray-Dunes (France) - Poperinge (Belgium) 194.6 km
Stage 4 - October 7: Cuesmes (Belgium) - Tournai (Belgium) 162.1 km
Cavendish wants 11th win at Franco-Belge
Cavendish takes tenth win in Southampton
Cavendish wins Tour of Britain prologue
Cavendish wins Scheldeprijs
Official event website: circuitfrancobelge.lunarpark.be
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