UK & World News
Cavendish Takes Heavy Fall In Tour De France
Mark Cavendish's Tour De France could be in doubt after he suffered a heavy fall in the first stage of the race near the finish line in north Yorkshire.
The Manx rider collided with Australian Simon Gerrans in the final 200 metres and was thrown to the ground where he lay clutching his shoulder.
After cycling painfully across the line, the 29-year-old was taken to hospital where initial examinations suggested he had injured the acromioclavicular (AC) joint between his right shoulder and collarbone.
He 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."
His team, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, has said it will make a decision about whether he can take part in the second stage in the morning.
The first stage ended in Harrogate - the home town of Cavendish's mother - and was won by German rider Marcel Kittel. Team Sky's Chris Froome finished sixth.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were among the large crowds cheering on the world's top cyclists.
Two million people are expected to line the roads over the course of the weekend as Yorkshire hosts the first two stages of the prestigious event.
Some 198 riders in 22 teams were in the middle of Leeds for the start - but the teams did not compete for the first eight miles.
The race proper began in the grounds of 18th century stately home Harewood House where the royals chatted with lead riders, including reigning British champion Froome and Mark Cavendish.
There was a display by the world-famous Red Arrows RAF aerobatic team and Kate cut the ribbon to officially start the race.
The cyclists were then sent on their way in the "Grand Depart".
Scores of towns and villages along the 190km opening stage were packed as the peloton travelled through the Yorkshire Dales to the finish in Harrogate.
Several injuries to spectators have been reported, with a woman in her 40s falling through a roof in Skipton, according to North Yorkshire Police.
She was flown to hospital by air ambulance and is thought to have sustained head injuries. However they are not thought to be serious.
Officers believe she had climbed out of a window onto the roof.
A teenage boy in Ilkley also suffered leg injuries when he was hit by a team vehicle in the Tour convoy, said West Yorkshire Police.
He was also flown to hospital and police are investigating. He is said to be in a stable condition.
Sunday sees the Tour riders arrive in York for a 201km stage taking in some of the most challenging climbs in Britain, ending in Sheffield.
And on Monday, the Tour moves south to Cambridge and a 155km stage ending on The Mall, in central London.
There was some rain in Yorkshire earlier in the day but the weather conditions improved later.
Fears the narrow roads and stone walls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park would be too dangerous for the cyclists were dismissed by five-times Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault.
He told Sky News the challenges that Yorkshire poses were just part of the race.
"It's for the riders to adapt to the route, not for the route to adapt to the riders," he said.
Local businesses have been warned to expect up to 700 cars per hour trying to get into what are usually relatively isolated villages, with road closures for the race causing added problems.
Tens of thousands of tents and caravans squeezed into fields where sheep and cattle usually graze after officials relaxed the area's strict planning regulations for the weekend.
The Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency predicts the event, which is watched by billions of TV viewers around the world, will bring £100m into Yorkshire's economy.
The race ends in Paris on July 27.
All eyes will be on Britain's Chris Froome to see if he can take the title for Team Sky for the second successive year.
It would mark a third straight British win, after Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in 2012.