Mark Cavendish out of the Tour de France
Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France with a shoulder injury sustained in a crash on Saturday’s opening stage to Harrogate.
The 29-year-old’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep team confirmed Cavendish would not start Sunday’s second stage from York to Sheffield.
The 25-times Tour stage winner suffered a separated AC joint after colliding with Australian Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) as Gianrt-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel won the stage and with it the yellow jersey.
The pain of his injuries means he is no longer able to continue.
Cavendish accepted responsibility for the crash, which came as he was pursuing a first yellow jersey of his distinguished career in his mother’s home town.
“I’m gutted about the crash today,” Cavendish said on Saturday night.
“It was my fault. I’ll personally apologise to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance. 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 thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team.
“Sorry to all the fans that came out to support - it was truly incredible.”
It is the first time since 2008 - when he left prematurely to prepare for the Beijing Olympics - that Cavendish will not complete the Tour. The 2011 points classification winner and world champion won in Paris for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.
His exit also deprives the Manxman of an opportunity to win Monday’s third stage from Cambridge to The Mall in London, which goes through Essex, where he has a home.
“I’m absolutely devastated,” said Cavendish ahead of the start of stage two at York Racecourse.
“We kind of knew last night. We knew straight away. I normally bounce back from some crashes quite well; I assessed my body yesterday and for the first time in my career I knew something was wrong.
“I was in pain last night. I held a bit of optimism that it was maybe just swelling and would go down overnight, but it’s actually worse this morning. It’s not possible to start, from a medical point of view.”
Cavendish was pursuing a first yellow jersey of his distinguished career in his mother’s home town when he crashed 250 metres from the finish line.
He admitted he was culpable - “I tried to find a gap that wasn’t there,” he said - and apologised to Gerrans, but was determined to cross the line after around two million fans lined the roadside for the 190.5-kilometre route from Leeds.
Cavendish said: “I wanted to finish. The crowd that was out, I had to get my bike to the finish.”
MARK CAVENDISH FACTFILE
1985: Born Douglas, Isle of Man on May 21.
2005: First professional victory on stage one of the Tour of Berlin.
March - Wins Madison gold at the Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles alongside Rob Hayles.
2006: March - Wins Melbourne Commonwealth Games scratch race gold medal for the Isle of Man.
September - Tour of Britain points jersey winner.
2007: September - Tour of Britain prologue, stage one, points and sprints jersey winner.
2008: March - Wins Madison gold in Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester alongside Bradley Wiggins.
May: Wins on stages four and 13 of Giro d’Italia.
July: Wins four stages of the Tour de France - stages five, eight, 12 and 13.
August: Favourite for Olympic Madison alongside Wiggins but the pair place ninth and Cavendish returns home as the only member of GB’s track team without a medal.
2009: March - Wins 100th Milan-San Remo Classic.
May - Becomes the first Briton to wear the pink jersey for the Giro d’Italia leader after squad win opening team time-trial. Wins stages nine, 11 and 13.
July - Wins six stages at the Tour de France, including on the Champs Elysees, but misses out on the green jersey after he is docked points for barging rival Thor Hushovd of Norway.
September - Wins first stage of the Tour of Missouri in St Louis for the 50th road win of his career.
2010: July - Wins five Tour de France stages to take his career tally to 15 but finishes 11 points behind Alessandro Petacchi in the points classification.
September - Becomes only the second Briton after Robert Millar to win stages in all three grand tours after success on stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana. Wins two more stages and claims points classification.
2011: May - Finishes second on stage two of the Giro d’Italia to take the race leader’s pink jersey after HTC-Highroad won the opening team time-trial. Wins stages 10 and 12 of the Giro d’Italia.
June 10 - Awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours.
July 17 - Takes fourth win for fourth successive Tour.
July 24 - Wins final stage in Paris to win the green jersey for the first time.
September 25 - Becomes first Briton to win men’s road race at the World Championships since Tommy Simpson 46 years earlier.
October 11 - Joins British squad Team Sky for the 2012 season.
December 22 - Named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
2012: May - Wins three stages of the Giro d’Italia, but misses out on red jersey - and winning the points classification at all three grand tours - by one point.
June - Wins Ster ZLM Toer, his first general classification stage race success.
July - Claims first Tour stage win as world champion and for Team Sky on stage two. Wins two more, including victory in Paris for a fourth time.
July 28 - Finishes 29th in the Olympic road race.
September 16 - Wins three stages at the Tour of Britain.
October 18 - Leaves Team Sky after just one season to ride for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.
2013: January 21 - Marks his Omega Pharma-QuickStep debut with victory on the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.
February 8 - Crowned overall winner of the Tour of Qatar after claiming four of the six stages.
May 4 - Takes the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey for the third time in his career with victory on the opening stage in Naples and wins three more stages, including his 100th win as a professional. Also takes the red jersey to become only the fifth rider to win the points classification in all three grand tours.
July - Wins two stages of the Tour de France to take his career tally to 25, moving joint third all-time alongside Andre Leducq. Is beaten in Paris for the first time at the Tour’s finale.
September - Wins three stages of the Tour of Britain.
2014: February - wins stage five of the Tour of Algarve.
March - Omega Pharma-QuickStep win the team time-trial at Tirreno-Adriatico to put Cavendish in the leader’s jersey. He also wins stage six.
April - Wins opening two stages of the Tour of Turkey and finishes with a total of four.
May - Wins stage one and the eighth and final stage of the Tour of California.
July 6: Ruled out of the Tour de France after suffering a shoulder injury in a crash towards the end of the first stage of the race between Leeds and Harrogate.