Cavendish crashes on Tirreno's final stage

Mark Cavendish (Team HTC - Columbia)

Mark Cavendish (Team HTC - Columbia) (Image credit: Sirotti)

HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish suffered cuts and bruises in a crash during the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, but will take his place on the start line at Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

Cavendish came down on a corner after a touch of wheels with eight kilometres to go on the final stage of the Italian race. He suffered cuts and bruises in the crash, but was able to remount and finished the stage behind the peloton.

HTC-Columbia Director Sportif Brian Holm indicated that he doesn't expect the incident to affect Cavendish. "He's got bruises. He's hurt, as you'd expect after crashing at 60km/h," Holm told Cyclingnews, "but he's not made of chocolate. I'm sure he'll be fine."

The crash is the latest hiccup in Cavendish's 2010 season. Dental issues caused the 24-year-old to delay his season start, with Tirreno-Adriatico just his third race appearance of the year.

In spite of his frustrating lead up to his Milan-San Remo title defence this weekend, Holm predicted Cavendish will nevertheless be in a position to defy expectations, as he did so emphatically last year.

"[I think his chances are] more or less the same as last year," he said. "He surprised everyone last year and in some ways it looked too easy. We know it's going to be difficult, but we'll give it a try.

"I do truly believe he can do it again."

Holm also hosed-down any suggestion that Cavendish had written off his chances of repeat success in the event.

"He wants it, otherwise he wouldn't start."

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