Britain’s Mark Cavendish has been forced to pull out of the Tour de France after dislocating his shoulder in a high-speed crash during the first opening stage, his team said on Sunday.
“@MarkCavendish will not start Stage 2 today,” the team said on Twitter.
“Starting is not an option,” team manager Patrick Lefevere told reporters outside of the OPQS team bus before the 201-kilometre-long ride to Sheffield.
The 29-year-old sprinter suffered the injury when he fell heavily after collliding with Australian Simon Gerrans close to the finishing line of the 190.5 kilometre stage from Leeds to Harrogate.
The former world champion later apologised to Gerrans, saying he had “tried to find a gap that wasn’t really there”.
He underwent X-rays in hospital on Saturday night, which revealed the shoulder was not broken but dislocated, and the team decided to wait overnight to see if he was fit to continue the race before ruling him out on Sunday morning.
The opening three stages of this year’s race are being held in England.
Cavendish, one of the most successful sprinters in the history of the race, has won 25 Tour stages.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP, REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-07-06