Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade following a crash late on stage four in Vittel on Tuesday. World champion Peter Sagan was disqualified from the Tour by the race jury for causing the crash, which sent Cavendish into the barriers 120 metres before the finish line.
Cavendish had spent three months battling back from the Epstein-Barr virus in order to make the start line of the Tour in Dusseldorf, and his early exit will come as a bitter blow.
“I’m obviously massively disappointed to get this news about the fracture,” Cavendish said. “The team was incredible today.
“They executed to perfection what we wanted to do this morning. I feel I was in a good position to win and to lose that and even having to leave the Tour, a race I have built my whole career around, is really sad.”
There had initially been optimism regarding Cavendish’s status as tests at a local hospital found no signs of a break.
But after he travelled to Nancy for further scans the picture changed. Mark suffered a fracture to the right scapula,” Team Dimension Data doctor Adrian Rotunno said. “Fortunately no surgery is required at this stage, and most importantly there is no nerve damage. “He’s been withdrawn from the race for obvious medical reasons, and we’ll continue monitoring him over the coming days.” The news means the 32-year-old’s hopes of adding to his 30 career Tour stage wins and closing in on Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 are over for another year.—AFP