Tour de France 2013: Mark Cavendish insists nobody at fault for high-speed collision with Tom Veelers in stage ten

British champion Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) insists nobody was at the fault for the high-speed collision which brought down Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) at the end of stage ten of the 2013 Tour de France.

The Manx Missile finished third yesterday despite the collision, with Veelers’ team mate Marcel Kittel taking the stage victory – his second of the 100th edition of the Tour.

Mark Cavendish crosses the line ahead of Peter Sagan, moments after the collision which saw Tom Veelers hit the deck

Cavendish – who felt the difference in speed caused the crash – was among the favourites for the stage, which finished as expected with a bunch sprint in Saint-Malo, but he believes Kittel’s win underlines the German’s own ability.

“I went to come round Veelers as he dropped the wheel, but he moved right,” he said. “Unfortunately we touched elbows and with the difference of speed, he crashed. I do not believe there is fault on either side, but I hope he is ok.

“For the sprint we ran out of guys and Gert [Steegmans] went early with just under a kilometre to go. It would have been too far if I had tried to go with him. I tried to get on another train, and just got beat. We could have done things a little bit differently, but that’s bike racing.

“I think it’s disrespectful to make it out as a big loss for us when Kittel wins. He’s an incredible bike rider. His team rode really well.

“It would have been nice to win today but he’s an incredible sprinter and deserves the credit.”

With attention now turning to today’s 33km individual time trial, all eyes are on Cavendish’s team mate – the world time trial champion Tony Martin.

The German suffered significant injuries in the big crash which marred stage one in Corsica, but he believes he is over the hardest part of the recovery and is ready to conquer today’s stage.

World time trial champion Tony Martin will hope for a repeat of his ITT win at the Criterium du Dauphine

“I feel pretty well,” he said. “I had a pretty good rest day. The injuries are quite OK now, not too much pain anymore. I recovered well and am really motivated for the time trial.

“To get off the bike after the crash and to motivate myself to continue after some bad nights, with almost no recovery, was pretty hard. I think I passed now the hardest part of this Tour and for me it’s now a second start.

“[In the] morning I will check the course and then I will give it all to try and conquer this TT. It won’t be easy but I will try.”

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