Sat, 15 Jun 2024

HEADLINES :


ADVERTISEMENT

Cavendish crashes out: Tour de France
Published on: Monday, July 10, 2023
By: AFP
Text Size:

Cavendish crashes out: Tour de France
Cavendish receives medical attention after suffering a crash during the 8th stage.
LIMOGES: Mark Cavendish crashed out of what was set to be his final Tour de France on Saturday, ending the sprint legend’s quest to go one better than Eddie Merckx for stage wins.

The 38-year-old British rider got caught up in a crash on a flat section of road seemingly without danger entering the village of La Chapelle-Verlaine some 63km from the finish.

In agony he was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone as Denmark’s Mads Pedersen went on to win a bunch sprint in Limoges in central France.

“I won’t lie, I cried. Everyone in the team is hurting,” said Astana sprint advisor Mark Renshaw.

“Second yesterday, and today, to have this happen to Mark... It’s hard.”

Widely regarded as cycling’s greatest sprinter, Cavendish came into this year’s Tour level on 34 stage wins with Belgian great Merckx.

Jasper Philipsen had denied him a record 35th stage win on Friday.

On Saturday, former world champion Pedersen won ahead of Belgian duo Philipsen and Wout van Aert.

“It’s sad a legend like him ends his Tour like that,” said Trek–Segafredo rider Pedersen.

“I hoped so bad he’d get his 35th win on the Tour. It’s painful not only for him but also for so many other people in cycling, riders and fans, everyone,” he added.

Italian rider Gianni Moscon was behind Cavendish when he fell.

“There was a crash in front of us and Cav had to break because someone changed line,” he said.

“He just hit the rear wheel of the guy in front of him and went down.”

Ashen-faced Cavendish remained on the road rolling in pain every time he reached towards his right shoulder before being evacuated to hospital by ambulance.

“It hurts,” said Astana teammate David de la Cruz.

“He was the leader of the team, he was close to victory. It’s a super hard moment, a great pain. He is very charismatic and brings a lot to the group.”

Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said it was “an emotional day”.

“For a few seconds yesterday we thought he would achieve his goal, and today it’s over,” he said.

“He’s the best sprinter in Tour de France history and he’ll always be welcome here, with or without a bike.”

Cavendish burst on to the Tour de France map in 2008 with his first four wins when he was just 23 years old. His celebrations made such good television he attracted a new generation of fans to the sport.

A student of the fine art of the sprint lead-out and a bullish competitor, the Isle of Man native matched Merckx on 34 wins in 2021.

He missed the cut in 2022 but changed teams for 2023 where he appeared capable of clinching the all important stage for which he strived so hard.

Although Cavendish originally said this would be his final Tour de France he left the door open to another year on the eve of this tour.

“I’m still racing, still loving it, and I’ll keep doing it until I stop,” he said.

“The biggest thing I can say is never give up, do what you want and enjoy it, but commit to it. It’s a good rule to live by.”

In the overall standings Jonas Vingegaard kept the leader’s yellow jersey 25 seconds ahead of Tadej Pogacar.

“It was really sad indeed to hear that news,” said defending champion Vingegaard of Cavendish.

“Everyone wanted him to win another stage,” said two-time winner Pogacar.

“He was on good form too. If you saw him yesterday he was so close. It’s awful,” added the Slovenian, who described Cavendish as one of the idols of his youth.

On Sunday, the race goes back to the slopes where the duel between Pogacar and Vingegaard will be given a fitting setting as the peloton climbs the dormant Puy de Dome volcano.

The venue has been flagged as the Tour’s top stage as much for its storied past as for its fearsome 13km slope topping out with 4km at 12 percent gradient.

* Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channel(s) for the latest news you don't want to miss.

* Do you have access to the Daily Express e-paper and online exclusive news? Check out subscription plans available.





ADVERTISEMENT






Top Stories Today

Sports Top Stories


Follow Us  



Follow us on             

Daily Express TV  







close
Try 1 month for RM 18.00
Already a subscriber? Login here
open

Try 1 month for RM 18.00

Already a subscriber? Login here