Sky team boss Dave Brailsford has said he's confident that Mark Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel will start Tour de France stage five on Thursday after both riders crashed heavily coming into today's finish in Rouen.
"Mark's all right – he's scraped, bumped and bruised, but he's OK. Bernie's got a big chunk out of the top of his eyebrow. There's quite a big hole and he's having it stitched, but hopefully he'll be OK. At this moment in time I expect them both to be able to continue," said Brailsford at the finish line.
"They did give an idea of what happened but I'm not sure I can repeat exactly what was said. Emotions run high straight after crashes and we need to let everyone calm down and go from there. What's happened has happened and it's all about getting everyone fit and well for tomorrow and ready to go again."
Brailsford once again stressed that the team's overriding objective is to safely negotiate the first week of the race. "We're seeing crashes every day but once we're through these first six days the race starts going uphill and hopefully it will calm down a little bit," he said.
"But this is another day gone. They're all still on their bikes. Another two days to go before we reach the hills, and we'll see how things go from there."
Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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