UK & World News

  • 6 July 2014, 14:54

Crash Takes Cavendish Out Of Tour De France

One of Britain's top cyclists will miss the rest of the Tour de France after crashing in the final moments of Saturday's opening stage in Yorkshire.

Mark Cavendish dislocated his shoulder in a heavy fall near the finish line in Harrogate - his mother's home town.

The Isle of Man sprinter collided with Australian Simon Gerrans in the last 200 metres and was thrown to the ground in the high-speed smash.

Cavendish lay clutching his shoulder, and after cycling painfully across the line, the 29-year-old was taken to hospital.

The 'Manx Missile', who competes for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, later 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."

X-rays were taken on Saturday night which confirmed the shoulder injury.

His team then decided to wait overnight to see if he was fit to continue the race before ruling him out on Sunday morning.

The first stage lasting 190km began in Leeds and was won by German rider Marcel Kittel. Team Sky's Chris Froome finished sixth.

The high-profile crash marred the opening day of Yorkshire hosting the world's greatest bike race.

Many spectators, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron, were willing Cavendish on as he entered Harrogate.

But he fell in the town centre as his mother, Adele Towns, watched from the stands.

More than a million people lined the streets of Yorkshire on Saturday for stage one as crowds flocked from all over the country to get a glimpse of the 198 racers.

Hundreds of thousands more people were expected to turn out for the second stage on Sunday from York to Sheffield - a 201km route where the world's top cyclists faced some of Britain's toughest climbs.

Police have warned spectators to stay safe after some dramatic scenes on Saturday.

A teenage boy was airlifted to hospital with serious leg injuries after he fell from the roadside in Ilkley, into the path of a Tour team vehicle following behind the race.

There were also reports of spectators on the climbs getting very close to the leading riders - often while taking 'selfies' on their phones.

On Monday, the Tour moves south to Cambridge and a 155km stage ending on The Mall, in central London.