Mark Cavendish has spoken of his disappointment after being forced to withdraw from the Tour de France after suffering a broken shoulder in a crash on Tuesday.
Cavendish was transported to hospital by ambulance with shoulder and finger injures after he crashed to the ground when Peter Sagan elbowed him into the metal safety barriers about 100 metres from the end of the 207.5km stage from Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel.
The crash came after Cavendish spent there months battling back from the Epstein-Barr virus in order to make the start line of the Tour.
— Deloitte (@Deloitte) July 2, 2017
Speaking after the incident Cavendish said, “I’m obviously massively disappointed to get this news about the fracture. The team was incredible today. They executed to perfection what we wanted to do this morning. I feel I was in a good position to win and to lose that and even having to leave the Tour, a race I have built my whole career around, is really sad.”
The World Champion Sagan was disqualified from the race following the crash. The president of the race commission, Philippe Marien, said, “We’ve decided to disqualify Peter Sagan from the Tour de France 2017 as he endangered some of his colleagues seriously in the final metres of the sprint which happened in Vittel.”
Sagan’s team, Bora-Hansgrohe, later announced that they had officially protested his expulsion but their appeal was rejected.
Cavendish was following the wheel of the eventual stage winner Arnaud Demare when Sagan stuck out an elbow and knocked him into the barriers where he came crashing to the ground. Medical staff then treated him before crossing the finish line with a bloodied and bandaged hand.
After the incident Cavendish told reporters, “In terms of pain-wise, I’ve done my shoulder twice before and I’m in more pain now than I was for one of my shoulders, that doesn’t make me too optimistic, just on feeling, but I’m not a doctor.”