Mark Cavendish 'devastated' to be abandoning Tour de France

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Mark Cavendish ‘devastated’ after injury forces him to abandon Tour de France

Manxman quits race as a result of injuries sustained in stage one crash

Mark Cavendish admitted he is gutted to be leaving the Tour de France after the injuries he sustained in his stage one crash forced him to abandon the race.

The Manxman, who crashed inside the final kilometre as he desperately tried to stay in contention for the sprint finish, suffered a separated shoulder and ligament damage in the crash.

Mark Cavendish said he was devastated to be abandoning the Tour de France with injury (pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

And the 29-year-old, who held an impromptu press conference outside of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep prior to stage two, admitted the pain had got worse overnight.

“I’m devastated to be fair,” he said. “I’m in pain as well. I think anyone who crashes on the first day of the Tour de France is going to be disappointed.

“When I got on my bike after my crash yesterday it wasn’t possible to hold my handlebars. When I took my skinsuit off I saw there was something wrong with my shoulder.

“It was sticking out a bit like it shouldn’t. So we went to get it checked up and I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t move my shoulder.

“I held a bit of optimism that maybe it was just swelling and it would go down a bit this morning, but it’s actually worse this morning.

“I can’t move my arm. I’m gutted, I’m majorly disappointed, but it could be worse.”

Cavendish, who took full responsibility for the crash which also brought down Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE), had been among the favourites for stage one.

With a maiden yellow jersey his prime target for the whole season, he admitted he may not have pushed so hard had it not been for the occasion.

Cavendish nurses his injury as he crawled to the finish line. He claims the injury felt worse before the start of stage two (pic: @Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

He added: “At the end of the race, in different circumstances, I would have hit the brakes and not tried to go for the win.

“The stage had been lost. I wanted it that bad and I tried to find a gap that wasn’t there.”

The Manxman was the only rider not to start the second stage, which takes the peloton from York to Sheffield via an undulating circuit through the Pennines.

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