Mark Cavendish abandons 2017 Tour de France with broken shoulder after stage four crash

Manxman out of race after crash which led to Peter Sagan's disqualification

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) has been forced to abandon the 2017 Tour de France after breaking his shoulder in the stage four crash which led to world champion Peter Sagan’s (Bora-hansgrohe) expulsion from the race.

Cavendish, who only returned to the peloton last month after three months out with glandular fever, crashed heavily into the barriers in the final sprint after Sagan came off his racing line and then appeared to elbow the Manxman.

Mark Cavendish has abandoned the 2017 Tour de France with a broken shoulder (Pic: Sirotti)

Cavendish was treated on the road and crossed the finish line with his hand bandaged but left with his arm in a sling as he awaited x-rays on his injury.

And after a broken shoulder was confirmed, the 30-time stage winner will play no further part in this year’s race.

Cavendish hailed his team-mates as he contemplated the ‘really sad’ end to his 2017 Tour, saying in a team statement: “I’m obviously massively disappointed to get this news about the fracture. The team was incredible today. They executed to perfection what we wanted to do this morning.

“I feel I was in a good position to win and to lose that and even having to leave the Tour, a race I’ve built my whole career around, is really sad.”

Dimension Data’s team doctor Adrian Rotunno said Cavendish had fractured his scapula – in the same shoulder he dislocated when he crashed in Harrogate on stage one of the 2014 race – but would not require surgery.

The announcement came at the same time Bora-hansgrohe revealed they had officially protested Sagan’s disqualification for what race commissaires deemed endangering ‘severely several other riders, including Mark Cavendish, in the final meters of the sprint’.

Sagan had initially only been relegated on the stage, and suffered time and points penalties, before he was later disqualified – a decision Dimension Data DS, and former British champion, Roger Hammond had pushed for.


“Of course, I’m furious,” Hammond said in a post-stage interview. “I think everybody’s seen those images.

“Those emotions are increased when a lot of people have worked so hard. Mark has spent a lot of time away from his family to get to the Tour de France. Everybody in this team has a right to be extremely angry.”

Sagan went to the Dimension Data team bus immediately after the stage to apologise – something Cavendish said he was ‘extremely grateful’ for – and insisted there was no malice in his actions.

“In the sprint I didn’t know that Mark Cavendish was behind me,” the world champion said. “He was coming from the right side, and I was trying to go on Kristoff’s wheel. Mark was coming really fast from the back and I just didn’t have time to react and to go left.

Peter Sagan was disqualified from the Tour de France for his role in the crash, which led to Mark Cavendish abandoning the race (Pic: Sirotti)

“He came into me and he went into the fence. When I was told after the finish that Mark had crashed, I went straight away to find out how he was doing.

“We are friends and colleagues in the peloton and crashes like that are never nice. I hope Mark recovers soon.”

Sagan’s disqualification and Cavendish’s injury means there is now guaranteed to be a new winner of the points classification for the first time in seven years. Stage four winner Arnaud Demare currently lead the competition.

Meanwhile, British rider Ben Swift, who was also caught up in the crash as he was unable to avoid Cavendish’s bike after his fellow Brit fell, has confirmed he escaped ‘relatively unhurt’ despite catapulting over his handlebars.

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