Cavendish was riding his first race since the Rio Olympics, where he finished second in the Omnium behind Italy's Elia Viviani – one of the other fallers in Sunday's crash.
"I don't know [what happened], Elia just… next thing Elia was underneath me and I think he lost his front wheel," Cavendish told reporters after the stage.
The first stage of the Tour of Britain was won by Andre Greipel of Lotto Soudal who leads the race from Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange). For Cavendish, who took only three days off the bike after the Olympic Games the day ended in nursing his injuries.
"I'm all right. I've hurt my arm a bit [shows grazing on left arm] but nothing is broken."
When asked about his form, he added: "I was all right actually, I was OK."
At the start of the stage in Glasgow, Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins were mobbed by fans who were eager for autographs with two of the British medallists from Rio. The sprinter briefly spoke to reporters, describing how the Tour of Britain was an important race in his season.
"I've no idea how the form is and this is my first race," Cavendish had said at the start of the race.
"I've been training. I had three days off after Rio but I've got to race."
The Tour of Britain acts as a key build up race for the World Championshps that take place in Doha in October. The road race suits the sprinters, and Cavendish and several other potential contenders are at the race in order to find their form after already long seasons.
For Cavendish, there's extra incentive, and expectation as he's riding on home roads and with 10 stage wins in the race already to name he is always a marked man.
"It's the first build up. It's about knowing where I am. The thing is this is the Tour of Britain so I'd like to do well here anyway. If it was any other race I'd feel more relaxed."