Yorkshire was excited to have its native son, Mark Cavendish, wear the yellow jersey at the end of this year’s Tour, but a crash in Harrogate during stage one took him out of the race.
Cavendish started strong. But he felt the pressure from fellow cyclist Simon Gerrans and crashed 250m from the finish. Cavendish walked across the finish line a full 3min and 37sec behind Marcel Kittel, the stage winner.
An initial x-ray showed no broken bones, a later MRI showed ruptured ligaments and a dislocation. It was unknown if Cavendish would be able to compete in stage two.
Later on, Cavendish took ownership for the crash, stating he had leaned into Gerrans and would apologise.
Patrick Lefevere, his cycling manager, stated, “Of course he was very impatient. It’s his home tour, he was very focused, maybe too much focused. He was so sure to win that he probably did make a mistake. Gerrans came next to him, slowed down, he wanted to get out, and he pushed with the shoulder and Gerrans pushed back with the shoulder and they crashed.”
This year was to be the year Cavendish wore yellow. Last year, he was battling fatigue from a virus and was bested by Kittel. Despite the Tour Grand Départ coming to Yorkshire, and the hopes and dreams of the countryside resting on his shoulders, a shoulder injury has stopped Cavendish.