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."
Provisional medical checks on Mark Cavendish indicate no fractures after he crashes heavily in stage one finale in Harrogate
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