Mark Cavendish after a crash on stage one of the 2014 Tour de France. Photo by Graham Watson
Omega Pharma-Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish did not take the start of stage 2 at the Tour de France Sunday after crashing at the end of stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate. At the start in York the Brit addressed the press, admitting he knew things were bad as soon as he crashed.
“When I got on my bike after my crash yesterday it wasn’t possible to hold my handlebars,” he said. “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.”
Cavendish also admitted that it was likely his fault that the crash happened in the first place.
“Simon [Gerrans] and I came up, and I think two of us wanted Peter Sagan’s wheel,” explained Cavendish of the melee that occurred in the final 300 meters of the stage which was won by German Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano). “The others moved to the left. I wanted to go but Gerrans was there. I used my head to try to take us across the road. Gerrans wasn’t budging, I wasn’t budging, we crossed bars and we both went down. 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. I spoke to Simon after the stage, I asked if he was OK, and I also spoke to him on the phone later and apologized to him. I really hope he’s OK and today’s a good stage for him. I wish him a good rest of the tour.”
While racing continues Sunday, Cavendish’s next stop is an MRI check to see if surgery will be required.
“I’m likely to be out for a few weeks,” he said. “I’m devastated to be fair. 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. But Omega Pharma-Quick-Step is here with a strong team. We’ve got Tony Martin the world time trial champion. We’ve got Niki Terpstra, who won Paris-Roubaix. We got Matteo Trentin who won a stage of the Tour de France in his first year last year. We’ve got Jan Bakelants who won a stage in his first Tour last year and had the yellow jersey. We have a really versatile team. I’m confident we will be successful. We weren’t just here to win the sprints, we are here to be successful within the full 21 days.”