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On this day in 2014 – Mark Cavendish crashes out of Tour de France on first day

Mark Cavendish crashed out of the first day of the Tour de France in Yorkshire on this day in 2014 (Tim Ireland/PA)
Mark Cavendish crashed out of the first day of the Tour de France in Yorkshire on this day in 2014 (Tim Ireland/PA)

A late crash ended Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France on the opening day as the 101st event got underway in Yorkshire on this day in 2014

The Manxman had hoped to wear the yellow jersey in his mother’s home town of Harrogate after the race left Leeds on a 190.5-kilometre stage which took in the Dales.

However, Cavendish collided with Orica GreenEdge rival Simon Gerrans a little over 200 metres from the line in the Yorkshire spa town and separated the acromioclavicular (AC) joint between his right shoulder and collarbone after crashing to the floor.

Mark Cavendish limps over the line with an injured shoulder
Cavendish sustained a shoulder injury after a crash close to the finish line (Martin Rickett/PA)

He rode gingerly back to his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team bus holding his side before being taken away in an ambulance with his wife Peta Todd and children following in a team car. An MRI scan that night ended his Tour.

“I’m absolutely devastated,” said Cavendish ahead of the next day’s stage from York to Sheffield.

“We knew straight away. I normally bounce back from crashes quite well; I assessed my body yesterday and for the first time in my career I knew something was wrong.

“I held a bit of optimism that it was maybe just swelling and would go down overnight, but it’s actually worse and it’s not possible to start from a medical point of view.”

It was the first time since 2008 – when he left prematurely to prepare for the Beijing Olympics – that Cavendish had not completed the Tour.