Tour de France: Cavendish ‘not in great shape’ says team mate

Omega Pharma-Quick Step Mark Cavendish rides over the finish line in Harrogate after crashing out of the final sprint, applauded by the crowd at the end of stage one of the Tour de France in Harrogate

Omega Pharma-Quick Step Mark Cavendish rides over the finish line in Harrogate after crashing out of the final sprint, applauded by the crowd at the end of stage one of the Tour de France in Harrogate

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Mark Renshaw confirmed that Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mate Mark Cavendish was “not in great shape” after his crash in the opening stage of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

Cavendish was looking for a 26th Tour stage win of his career in his mother’s home town of Harrogate - and a first yellow jersey - but he collided with Australian Simon Gerrans and hit the tarmac in the final 500 metres.

The Manxman was seen clutching his shoulder and midrift as he rolled over the line and he was later taken away in an ambulance and transported to hospital.

“Yeah, he’s not in great shape,” Renshaw said. “I’m sure it will be okay and he’s a tough guy and it’s not the first crash he’s ever had so hopefully both him and Simon are all right.”

When asked if he had seen the incident unfold, he added: “No I didn’t see what happened, sorry.”

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), who won the 190.5-kilometre opening stage from Leeds to claim the yellow jersey on the opening day for a second successive year, offered support for Cavendish.

“I hope he gets well soon. I don’t know how badly he is injured. I hope he is all right,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him tomorrow in the race again. I wish him all the best.”

Kittel powered through to the line after the sprinters’ teams regrouped after Fabian Cancellara launched a surprise attack.

He managed to nip in front of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), while Cavendish’s hopes of a dream sprint finish ended in tatters.

Kittel was impressed with the feverish support on the roadsides in Yorkshire as the sprinters’ teams geared up for a high-octane finale.

“It was so unbelievably loud. The fans were cheering,” the 26-year-old said.

“My boys did an amazing job, they rode so strong. I felt so motivated and I had good legs today. I’m so, so happy that this worked.”

When it was pointed out to him that this is the second year in a row he has held the yellow jersey after the opening stages, Kittel was almost lost for words.

“I know I still can’t believe it. It’s unreal, it’s so great.” he added.

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