He came down with Simon Gerrans in the sprint finish to Harrogate and although he crossed the line, he was taken to hospital where it was revealed that he had underlined ligament ruptures with an AC-joint dislocation.
“Mark is out of the race, he will not start,” a spokesperson from Omega Pharma-QuickStep told Cyclingnews before the start.
“Yes, he will be with his team at the start but there’s no way that he’s going to start the race. It’s very unfortunate.”
The injured rider traveled with the team to the start, where he spoke briefly with the media.
Cavendish came out from the team bus with his arm in a sling and confirmed that he and the team had taken the decision to pull out at breakfast.
"We knew last night and I knew straight away because normally in crashes I bounce back straight away. This was the first time in my career that I knew something was up, but I wanted to finish and I was able to do that, but I was in pain," he said.
"I had some optimism that the swelling would go down overnight but it’s not possible to start today. I’m absolutely devastated. The Tour is in the UK for anther two days and secondly we have incredible team."
"They rode incredibly yesterday and they will for the next 20 days and I wanted to be part of that success."
"I spoke to Gerrans at the finish and then I called him at his hotel last night too. We both went for Sagan’s wheel but I wanted that gap so bad but it wasn’t there. I hope that Simon is okay and today is a stage for him. He’s a good guy and I m sorry."
"I would have loved to have been here for three weeks as we have a really strong team here but the crash was my fault at the end of the day."