Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France just one stage in, having dislocated his shoulder in a crash.
The 29 year old's future was in doubt last night and this morning Omega Pharma-QuickStep team confirmed that he would not be in the starting line-up for the York to Sheffield second stage today.
The team said the Manxman was suffering from a separated AC joint after colliding with Orica-GreenEdge rider Simon Gerrans in a crash that only a handful of riders managed to avoid, with Giant Shimano’s Marcel Kittel going on to take the victory and with it, the race lead and the yellow jersey, just as he did 12 months ago in Corsica.
"I'm gutted about the crash today," Cavendish told TalkSport last night.
"It was my fault. I'll personally apologise to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get
the chance. In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn't really there.
"I wanted to win today, I felt really strong and was in a great position to
contest the sprint thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team.
"Sorry to all the fans that came out to support - it was truly incredible."
The last time Cavendish left the Tour early was in 2008 when he moved aside to prepare for the Beijing Olympics.
Now only three Britons remain in the race: Team Sky's Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates for Orica-GreenEdge.
<p>After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.</p>