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Tour de France: Mark Cavendish crashes in stage 1 sprint

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) crashed out of contention in the sprint finish on stage 1 of the Tour de France with a separated shoulder. The British rider made contact with Simon Gerrans before the line, with both riders hitting the deck as Marcel Kittel went on to win the stage.

Cavendish stayed on the ground for some time after the incident and was visibly nursing a shoulder injury as he eventually got up and rode to the finish and then made his way back to the team bus. After a quick visit to the bus, Cavendish was taken to hospital for further examination.

Cavendish was in too much pain to talk about the crash. Later from his hotel in Harrogate, Cavendish issued a brief statement, apologising for the crash.

The statement said imaging had "underlined ligament ruptures with an AC-joint dislocation, which causes him a lot of pain. A final decision on his participation in tomorrow's stage will be taken tomorrow morning."

"I'm gutted about the crash today" Cavendish said. "It was my fault. I'll personally apologise to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance. In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn't really there .I wanted to win today, I felt really strong and in a great position to contest the sprint thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team. Sorry to all the fans that came out to support - it was truly incredible."

Team manager Patrick Lefevere is hopefully that Cavendish can continue in the Tour de France, recover from his injuries and perhaps fight for a stage victory later in the race.

"We must now wait for the diagnosis. If he has nothing broken, he can continue. He will forgo (the sprints) for a few days, but he's a tough guy. We lost the first battle but not the war," Lefevere said.

"He was very disappointed, but was obviously very concerned about his injuries. He told me that he was very good and was ready to explode. It was a sprint that he had done a thousand times in his head."


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