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Race officials rub salt into Manx rider's wounds by blaming him for incident...

Mark Cavendish escaped with cuts and bruises and some serious road rash but apparently no broken bones yesterday at the Tour of Switzerland when the HTC-Columbia rider found himself at the centre of a massive crash as he headed for the line, with his pride likely to be hurting as much as anything else after race officials penalised the Manxman for having caused the chute.

Commissaires handed Cavendish a 200 Swiss France fine, docked him 25 points and issued him with a 30 second time penalty for his part in the crash, which forced Cervelo TestTeam’s Heinrich Haussler to withdraw from the race.

The incident took place in the closing metres of the 192km stage from Schwarzenburg to Wettingen as Cavendish seemed to drift over to his left and into the path of Cervelo TestTeam’s Heinrich Haussler, wearing the polkadot points jersey. The impact brought both riders down, with Cavendish seeming to land heavily on his back before being hit by three riders, including Quick Step’s Tom Boonen.

With most of the field forced to stop as emergency staff attended to the injured, Lampre-Farnese Vini’s Alessandro Petacchi had a clear run to the line on the barriers for the stage win, while race leader, HTC-Columbia’s Tony Martin, managed to pull up just short of his prostrate team-mate and with the crash taking place in the closing three kilometres retains the race lead after being awarded the same time as the winner.

An HTC-Columbia team spokesman, quoted in the Guardian, said of Cavendish’s injuries: "So far it looks as if he is doing OK. He walked away from the crash, but the problem was mainly the impact of people hitting him, and he fell really badly on his back."

The newspaper added that the HTC-Columbia team doctor, Helge Riepenhof, said yesterday evening that Cavendish had "skin rash everywhere. In the right shoulder, the right hip, the right knee, and he's very shaken but no broken bones as far we can see. He might even start tomorrow's stage."

Racing resumes today with a 173-kilometre stage from Wettingen to Frutigen.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

19 comments

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 5 years ago
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Having watched the race finish a couple of times it seems a little harsh to me to blame Cavendish. Both riders are drifting towards the centre (Cav more than Haussler, admittedly), neither of them are looking out for the other, and Cavendish is certainly in front when the collision occurs. Thoughts anyone?

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MattFr [103 posts] 5 years ago
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I'd have to agree, it's simply racing incident. Cav deviated most from his original line, but Haussler didn't keep to his line either. Part of this I think is due to Cav's reputation.

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm glad that I've never had Tom Boonen ride onto my neck.

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JJ the Flying D... [64 posts] 5 years ago
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He already nearly put the Vacansoleil guy into the barrier on the left of the screen and then swerved to the other side to block the faster Haussler. Not exactly holding your line...

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jezzzer [329 posts] 5 years ago
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that is hideous.

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Simon E [2539 posts] 5 years ago
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I watched the overhead, pausing every couple of seconds.

It looks to me like Cav moved across Ciolek's line and kept moving across to the left, despite there being two riders level with him on that side. It's not as if he didn't have room on his right. Poor form.

Between the infamous gesture (to those mythical critics? Poor sensitive soul) and this, it seems the golden boy has lost his shine a touch. But then again what do we "internet forum people" know? IMHO there's more to being a sportsman than merely being first...

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 5 years ago
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well to be fair one of the 'internet forum people' is JJ who's a Tour Series rider, so I'll defer to him on matters of sprint etiquette...  1

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Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
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maybe the ground just opened up in front of him and swallowed his wheel..

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handlebarcam [543 posts] 5 years ago
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The super slow-mo makes it look like Haussler was drifting to the centre, because it was shot from his side of the road, and was moving/pulling out to keep them in the frame. The overhead shows it is clearly Cavendish who was moving off his line. That said, Haussler was behind him, and looking down, so he could have avoided it too. I'd say 80-20 Cavendish's fault. Not an unusual accident, but it doesn't help his cause that he has been an enormous tw*t recently, with his comments, biography and gestures.

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STATO [477 posts] 5 years ago
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Sounds like a reapeat of the Tour stage last year where Cav got docked for blocking Thor(?) in a sprint (hot topic of discussion at the time). If you watch the overhead for that you can see Cav held a line that meant the other rider was squeezed out by the barriers closing in. Lots of people defended him at the time because he wasnt seen to 'deviate' but IMO riding a line that squeezes someone into a barrier is just crap. Hopefully this little incident will wake some people up.

In other news 'peloton hold prtotest against Cav' http://goo.gl/fb/buDin (note the response from Cav)

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STATO [477 posts] 5 years ago
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demoff - can you remove that link, there is a trojan hiding in it! my anti virus went mental when i clicked it (as did another twitter user, we both mentioned it to the poster but he hasnt responded)

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dullard [140 posts] 5 years ago
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Now, I've not been in a bunch sprint at 40+mph, but isn't a bit much to expect on a technical lead out and narrow finish that everybody rides perfectly straight? Isn't it a recipe for argy bargy and maybe a crash? Cavendish certainly drifts to his left after having swooped to his right to get into some space, but Haussler was behind him. Cavendish is certainly to blame but not the only one. And Jeez, come on, these are top class sprinters doing what they're paid to do which is win races. Cavendish is probably trying too hard to get his season on track, but a protest by the other teams? Cycling is a dangerous sport, Cavendish has been fined and penalised, so get on with it or take up knitting.

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JJ the Flying D... [64 posts] 5 years ago
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In my opinion, spitting when people come and ask you about your opinion about the crash shows that a bit more respect wouldn't be a bad thing. Think that's even worse than actually causing the crash, which no one would do on purpose. That might be what the protest was about, the lack of respect from Cav's side.

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dullard [140 posts] 5 years ago
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I hadn't heard about the spitting thing which, if true, is certainly disrespectful and pathetic. Worse than being (partly) responsible for a crash, however, I dunno. But back to the spitting; everybody knows what Cavendish is like, he's an arrogant, confrontational, immature, in yer face rider which is why he's one of the fastest sprinters in the world and won thirty odd races last season. If other riders have an issue with him spitting, give him a whack in the chops when teacher isn't looking, don't act all prissy and hold up the race as a 'protest'.

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demoff [327 posts] 5 years ago
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Yes Cav moves off his line and has to take a large part of the blame, Haussler is not entirely blameless as he is also moving across.

However Cav doesn't deserve this venomous backlash being generated on some of the forums!

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STATO [477 posts] 5 years ago
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dullard wrote:

Everybody knows what Cavendish is like, he's an arrogant, confrontational, immature, in yer face rider which is why he's one of the fastest sprinters in the world

No, they are two seperate things. He is fast. He is immature. They are mutually exclusive.

You say he is one of the fastest? correct.. and yet the others (racing at the same level) are generally much less arogant. Also they generally seem to be more professional, yes they are sprinting at 40mph but that is their job, they get to pro level by being able to do that and stay on track. How many other professional sprinters get repremanded or get complaints from other teams as much as Cav? And no they are not just jelous, he isnt beating everyone every time.

Oh and his spitting was in repsonse to the protest not before it (all the other riders/teams seem to think it was his fault and they were there) so i dont doubt he'll be getting another slap on the wrist from the team manager.

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demoff [327 posts] 5 years ago
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I can't recall anyone else in recent years getting so many column inches written about them after crashing. Is it the only band wagon going this week?

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 5 years ago
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I don't see how Cav is any different to Robbie McEwan when he was winning. Maybe less arrogant. I've never seen Cav do anything as blatant as McEwan using his head to try to lever Stu O'Grady out the way in a sprint in the 2005 Tour de France:

//www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2005/07/05/ogrady_wideweb__430x354.jpg)

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Simon E [2539 posts] 5 years ago
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I saw someone doing that very same head-shove the other day, can't remember the race (Giro, Dauphine?). Reminded me of this manoevure by Robbie, who is a little sprinter with a big attitude and still loveable.