mark cavendsihSheffield: The failure of the Tour de France race jury take action against British sprinter Mark Cavendish for his role in the crash that took out Orica-GreenEDGE rider Simon Gerrans in the finale of Saturday’s first stage is “disappointing” says his team head sports director, Matt White.
Cavendish did not start stage two on Sunday – 201km from York to Sheffield – after sustaining a dislocated right collarbone and ruptured ligaments in the high speed crash.
Gerrans did race though, despite the pain and limited mobility from the severe abrasions on his back and bruised ribs that he received from the fall on Saturday in the last 250m
While Gerrans could continue in the Tour, his team asked the Union Cycliste Internationale race jury why it did not even recognise Cavendish’s error, especially as he admitted several hours after the incident that he was to blame for the crash.
Cavendish telephoned Gerrans on Saturday evening to apologise for the crash. The apology was accepted, but Orica-GreenEDGEbelieve the UCI jury should still have taken a position on the incident.
But before Sunday’s stage, won by the new yellow jersey wearer Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) from Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Pole Michal Kwiatovski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and 18 others in a lead group of 21 riders, Orica-GreenEDGE sports director Neil Stephens still met with the UCI race jury to ask it did not act on Cavendish’s sprint.
White, meanwhile, did not want to dwell on the issue, but he still showed his dissatisfaction for the UCI’s position and response to Stephens request.
“I was happy ‘Cav’ apologised. It’s a good sign for him. That’s the truth,” White said.
“The problem was his. Simon accepted his apology. It was a nice thing to do.”
But White said he was still found what happened “disappointing.” And when asked if it was also “disappointing” that the UCI did not take any action, he said: “It is a little disappointing.
“Neil went and had a word with them … just for an explanation and they didn’t really have one.
“It’s not the first time the UCI didn’t have an explanation for something.”
Many agreed that the UCI race jury should have acted, citing how in 2010 the UCI jury at the Tour quickly disqualified Cavendish’s lead out man, Australian Mark Renshaw, for head butting in stage 11.
Gerrans, who stayed with the leaders until the last 25km of Sunday’s stage before finishing 58th at 1minutes 45 seconds to Nibali, said he accepted Cavendish’s apology; but he was still lamenting what may have been without his misfortune.
Asked if the gesture took some sting out of the incident, Gerrans, who may have won Saturday’s stage without the crash, and also taken the yellow leader’s jersey, said: “No … because I’m going to be stinging for several more days to come actually.
“[I’m] in a lot of pain just getting through the stages. At the end of the day it’s nice that he acknowledged it – it was his fault – but that doesn’t really take much of the plan away from what could have been a great couple of opportunities for myself.”
For Gerrans, Sunday was not spared of drama either. He crashed again early into the stage, but while sustaining another cut to his leg, did not further aggravate his injuries.
Asked how that crashed occurred, Gerrans said: “Spectators on the road basically. .. I didn’t come down too hard, just caught up. I had to change my bike.”
When it comes to crowd attendances, the Tour’s start in England that includes Monday’s 155km third stage from Cambridge to London, has been a huge success with most of the roads in stages one and two being lined with thousands of spectators.
However, that success has also triggered concerns about the safety of riders in the peloton with both first stages ending with riders recalling numerous incidents of near-misses – or as in the case of Gerrans on Sunday, actual collisions.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.