Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) is out of the Tour of Britain after colliding with a parked car early in the sixth stage. Cavendish appeared to be the only one involved in the incident and immediately withdrew from the race, unable to move his arm. It is the second crash in two days for the Manxman who had a tangle with Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) on stage 5.
"It looked like there was a car parked on the road and he hit it," Etixx-QuickStep directeur sportif Brian Holm told Cyclingnews immediately after the stage. "I’m not a doctor but from my point of view it looked a little bit like it could be the same as he did with his shoulder at the Tour but we have to wait and see. We will be optimistic."
Despite initial worries, the team later confirmed that Cavendish had not suffered any serious injury as a result of the crash. "As consequence of today’s crash during Aviva Tour of Britain Stage 6, Mark Cavendish withdrew from the race and was transported to the Alexandra Hospital in Stockport for further examination of his left shoulder," a statement from the team read.
"The X-rays underlined no fracture, or AC dislocation, of his shoulder, but a contusion was diagnosed. Cavendish will have to respect some days of rest before resuming training."
Holm refused to blame anyone for the incident. "Sometimes you have cars but I think that the security is really good here so I wouldn’t blame them."
Cavendish suffered a dislocation of the AC-joint following a crash on the opening stage of the Tour de France last season. The injury put him out of racing for over a month and a recurrence of it would have likely spelled the end for the Manxman’s World Championship hopes. The road race is due to take place in just over two weeks’ time.
His wife Peta also took to Twitter after the incident to assure fans that Cavendish was OK, but was still waiting for confirmation of his exact injuries.
"Have spoken to the boy a few times, he is OK...we still don't know for sure the extent of injuries. But it could have been a lot worse," she wrote.
Cavendish’s teammate Matteo Trentin went on to win the stage in a two-man sprint with race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka).