In a devastating turn of events, Mark Cavendish clutched his right collarbone immediately after a crash, bringing an end to his final appearance in the Tour de France, leaving a cloud of sadness over the event, according to race director Christian Prudhomme.
The 38-year-old cyclist from the Isle of Man sustained a broken collarbone during a seemingly harmless crash approximately 60km from the finish line on stage eight, from Libourne to Limoges. This unfortunate incident signifies that Cavendish will retire with a record-equalling 34 stage victories, tying with the legendary Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx.
Expressing the emotional impact of the incident, Prudhomme remarked, “It is an emotional day; he was visibly distraught immediately after the fall.” Cavendish had previously announced in May that he would retire at the end of this season.
Prudhomme further acknowledged Cavendish’s exceptional sprinting prowess in the history of the Tour de France, highlighting the rider’s ambition to secure a remarkable 35th stage victory. “He is devastated, and so are we—the Tour de France mourns this loss,” added Prudhomme.
After missing the Tour de France last year, Cavendish entered this year’s race with the intention of claiming the sole record for the most stage victories. Despite coming excruciatingly close to achieving his goal on Friday, a gear issue led to Jasper Philipsen surpassing him in the final moments.
Cavendish expressed deep disappointment with the outcome, and within 24 hours, his race abruptly concluded. Colliding with Pello Bilbao and losing balance, he fell to the ground and required assistance to enter an ambulance en route to a hospital in Perigueux.
“The entire team is devastated,” shared Mark Renshaw, Cavendish’s former lead-out man from 2009 to 2011 and in 2016, who joined Astana as a sprint adviser before the Tour de France. “I won’t hide it; tears were shed.”
Cavendish made his Tour de France debut in 2007 and has been unable to finish the race in seven out of his 14 appearances.
Mads Pedersen, the winner of Saturday’s stage, expressed his admiration for Cavendish and his regret over the unfortunate conclusion to the legend’s Tour. “I always had a great relationship with him in the peloton,” stated the Danish cyclist. “It’s truly saddening to see a legend finish the Tour this way.”
Tadej Pogacar, a two-time Tour de France winner, shared his sentiments, saying, “I believe everyone here wanted him to win at least one stage, and he came so close yesterday. It’s a tough moment. When we were kids, he was one of my favorites. Seeing him sprinting on the Champs-Elysees… we all wanted to emulate his style and his talent.”
While the Tour de France continues, the absence of Mark Cavendish, a remarkable sprinter and iconic figure in the sport, leaves a void in the hearts of fans and fellow riders alike.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tour de France crash
What happened to Mark Cavendish in the Tour de France?
Mark Cavendish suffered a broken collarbone in a crash during the Tour de France. The crash occurred about 60km from the finish line on stage eight from Libourne to Limoges.
Will this be Mark Cavendish’s last appearance in the Tour de France?
Yes, this crash is set to be Mark Cavendish’s final appearance in the Tour de France as he had previously announced his retirement at the end of the season.
How many stage victories does Mark Cavendish have in the Tour de France?
Mark Cavendish has a total of 34 stage victories in the Tour de France, which equals the record held by Belgian legend Eddy Merckx.
What was the impact of the crash on Mark Cavendish?
The crash resulted in a broken collarbone for Mark Cavendish, forcing him to retire from the race. He expressed sadness and disappointment after the fall.
How did the crash affect the Tour de France?
The race director, Christian Prudhomme, described the Tour de France as being in a state of sadness due to Mark Cavendish’s crash. The incident had an emotional impact on the cycling community, as Cavendish is considered one of the best sprinters in the history of the event.