Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has withdrawn from the 2014 Tour de France, and will not start Sunday’s stage two in York due to injuries sustained as a result of crashing on stage one.
“I normally bounce back from crashes quite well. It’s the first time in my career that I knew something was wrong,” Cavendish told reporters outside the Omega Pharma team bus on Sunday morning.
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“I was in pain last night but I held a bit of optimism that it was maybe just swelling and it would go down overnight, but it’s actually worse this morning so it’s not possible to start.”
“I’m absolutely devastated by it.”
Cavendish clashed with Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) within the final 400 metres of the opening stage in Harrogate, landing heavily on his right shoulder.
Although X-rays ascertained that he had not fractured any bones, he suffered from a separated shoulder and was in too much pain to start stage two.
Cavendish admitted that the crash was his fault, causing the incident as he tried to get past Gerrans in the hectic sprint.
“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 statement on Saturday evening.
Gerrans said on Sunday morning that he was still in pain, but that he would start the stage.
Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) claimed the opening stage ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale), and wears the coveted yellow jersey of race leader.
Provisional medical checks on Mark Cavendish indicate no fractures after he crashes heavily in stage one finale in Harrogate
Mark Cavendish says he will apologise in person to Simon Gerrans after Harrogate crash incident