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Tour de France 2014: Mark Cavendish ruled out of Tour after suffering dislocated shoulder

Sprinter crashed out within sight of finishing line in Yorkshire yesterday 

Adam Withnall,Jack de Menezes
Monday 07 July 2014 09:09 BST
Yorkshire grit: A marshall looks concerned as an injured Mark Cavendish struggles on after his clash with Simon Gerrans and rides over the line
Yorkshire grit: A marshall looks concerned as an injured Mark Cavendish struggles on after his clash with Simon Gerrans and rides over the line (PA Wire)

Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France after dislocating his shoulder within metres of finishing the first stage in Yorkshire.

The sprinter for Omega Pharma-Quick Step crashed out spectacularly in the final sprint yesterday as he pushed to capture the dream of wearing the first yellow jersey in his mother’s home town.

Cavendish has since apologised and said it was his fault for "trying to find a gap that wasn't really there" when he leaned hard against the Australian Simon Gerrans, sending the pair tumbling from their bikes.

Seconds later Cavendish was slumped on the ground, in tears and clutching his right shoulder. When he had recovered himself sufficiently he gingerly pedalled towards the finish line and then a race medical vehicle took him to hospital.

Mark Cavendish hits the ground after he is caught up in a crash with Simon Gerrans (ITV4)

Cavendish's team has now confirmed that the injury, thought to be the worst of the sprinter's eight-year career, means he will miss today's second stage running from York to Sheffield.

It is the first time Cavendish will not complete the tour since 2008, when he left prematurely to prepare for the Olympics in Beijing.

Medical examinations have since showed that the 29-year-old suffered a separated AC joint in the collision yesterday, but he was able to get back on his bike to cross the line minutes later - prompting hopes he may have yet been able to make a recovery.

Mark Cavendish holds his collarbone in clear pain (ITV4)

The stage was eventually won by Giant-Shimano's Marcel Kittel.

"For me it was not a goal to beat Mark Cavendish here in his home town, it was all about winning the first stage of the Tour de France. I am sure that Cavendish would have been in the mix had he not crashed, and I hope he will be back soon," Kittel said, after taking the tour's first yellow jersey for the second year running.

Speaking yesterday, Cavendish said: "I'm gutted about the crash today. 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 was 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."

Cavendish explained that he knew immediately that he would not be able to continue in the Tour due to the pain he felt after the crash.

"I'm absolutely devastated," Cavendish said at York Racecourse.

"We kind of knew last night. We knew straight away. I normally bounce back from crashes quite well; I assessed my body yesterday and for the first time in my career I knew something was wrong.

"I was in pain last night. I held a bit of optimism that it was maybe just swelling and would go down overnight, but it's actually worse this morning. It's not possible to start from a medical point of view."

The injury could also have a ramification on his participation in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for the Isle of Man.

"I need to go and get an MRI and perhaps surgery," Cavendish said.

"I'll try and get that sorted as soon as possible."

But the Manx Missile remained grounded on what it meant to miss the Tour.

"It could be worse for me," he added.

"I've got friends who have come back from Afghanistan with the armed forces.

"My friend Josh is a double amputee on his legs and missing his right arm. He just sent me a message joking saying 'I've got a spare arm for you'.

"I'm in the left-handed club with him for a bit now, but things could be worse. It was my fault at the end of the day."

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