Manx Missile Mark Cavendish’s hopes of a fairy tale start to the this year’s Tour de France opener were dashed as he crashed 250 metres from the finish line in Yorkshire, putting in doubt his participation in the rest of this year’s event.
The Laxey man collided with Simon Gerrans in the last few hundred metres of the 190.5km opening stage from Leeds to Cav’s mum Adele’s home town of Harrogate, as he tried to keep touch with sprint rival and eventual stage winner Marcel Kittel.
The Manxman remounted and crossed the finish line, but looked in a lot of pain having landed heavily on his collarbone and shoulder.
Just a kilometre earlier things seemed to be well set for a Manx win on Tynwald Day as Cav’s OPQS team led by Tony Martin and Mark Renshaw got to the front of the peleton and prepared to launch Cavendish into a trademark sprint finish.
However, Fabian Cancellara mounted a late solo break inside the last km that blew apart the finish and left Cav scrapping at the front without much of his lead-out train.
The Tour’s Grand Depart continues in Yorkshire tomorrow, Sunday, with a hilly 201km stage between York and Sheffield.