'I was seeing stars' - Mark Cavendish battles heat sickness to survive Tour de France stage one

Sprinter struggles in Tuscan hills, but says he "kind of had it all under control"

Mark Cavendish at Tour de France stage one
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"How long does he have?" asks one fan to another, waiting outside the Astana-Qazaqstan team bus on the promenade in Rimini. "25 minutes have gone," the second replies. "I think he's going to make it."

Mark Cavendish was not expected to be the story on stage one of the Tour de France. But after dropping from the peloton early, appearing to vomit, and lagging deeper behind on time, a worry began to sprout. 

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Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.