Everything was going so well for Mark Cavendish during Stage 1 of the Tour de France on Saturday. But at just over 650 feet from the finish line that all changed. Cavendish, racing for first place, collided with Simon Gerrans and wiped out. The fall was so violent that it dislocated his collar bone — an injury that may require surgery. This morning the 29-year-old was ruled out of the race.
“I’m devastated,” the Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider told reporters (via The Telegraph) at the start of Stage 2 today. “I had some optimism that the swelling would go down overnight, but it’s worse this morning.”
“I knew straight away because normally in crashes I bounce back straight away. This was the first time in my career that I knew something was up, but I wanted to finish. I was able to do that, but I was in pain.”
Cavendish also apologized to Gerrans, noting that he takes full responsibility for the crash.
“I spoke to Gerrans at the finish and then I called him at his hotel last night, too,” said the British rider (via The Telegraph). “I hope that Simon is okay and today is a stage for him. He’s a good guy and I’m sorry.”
In his attempt to win at the end on Saturday, Cavendish leaned against Gerrans hoping to carve out space to pull ahead, but the pair bumped wheels and crashed to the ground. Marcel Kittel of Germany, a rival of Cavendish’s, won the stage.
As for Gerrans, who’s on the ORICA-GreenEDGE squad, he’s still in the race, but the Australian’s dream of wearing the yellow jersey may have to wait. Gerrans is racing today scraped up and sore.
You know those double decker buses they have here in the UK. I woke up feeling like one of them drove one me during the night.
— Simon Gerrans (@simongerrans) July 6, 2014