Tour de France: Mark Cavendish is sprayed with urine


Wednesday’s time trial covered 33 kilometers between Avranches and Mont-Saint-Michel. (Jeff Pachoud / AFP Getty Images)

A spectator along the Tour de France time trial route sprayed urine from a bottle on British cyclist Mark Cavendish on Wednesday.

The incident, which occurred during the 33-kilometer race from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel, was believed to be related to a wreck Cavendish was involved in Tuesday, according to the BBC.

“Probably some spectators were not very pleased with what happened yesterday,” Patrick Leverere, manager of Cavendish’s team Omega Pharma0QuickStep, said.

“I regret this. I always felt that cycling fans were gentlemen, enthusiastic people. Mark is sad, he’s not upset.”

The move was no surprise to Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and plans to ride in a trek across Iowa later this month.

“Why all the sudden shock and outrage,” he tweeted. “This has been happening for 100 years in some form or another. [urine], spit, fists, etc.”

Cavendish, who declined to discuss the incident, was cleared of blame in a collision with Dutch rider Tom Veelers. The BBC reports that he phoned Veelers to say the wreck was unintentional but that Veelers requested an in-person apology. Cavendish does not believe that is warranted.Yes, I think it’s clear to see from the video that he’s riding me on the ground,” Veelers said to a French TV station.

On Wednesday morning, Cavendish’s teammate Jerome Pineau said Cavendish was the target of spectators’ jeering whistles. “Yesterday I was so proud about the support all the race but today I am ashamed,” Pineau tweeted.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · July 10, 2013