Tour de Suisse: Peloton holds protest against Cavendish for stage four crash
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tour de Suisse: Peloton holds protest against Cavendish for stage four crash

by VeloNation Press at 9:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Suisse
 
Peloton wants more respect from the Manx Missile

Mark CavendishThe fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse began with a two minute protest against what some teams described as the aggressive attitude of HTC-Columbia sprinter Mark Cavendish.  The Manxman was ruled to be the cause of the massive crash 50 meters from the finish that saw riders Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam), Arnaud Coyot (Caisse d'Epargne) and Lloyd Mondory (AG2r) abandon the race due to injury.  The race jury cited “deviation from his line while endangering his colleagues and causing an accident”.

Both Cavendish and Haussler had overtaken Milram rider Gerald Ciolek in the final meters, but the race jury said the HTC-Columbia rider failing to continue his sprint in a straight line is what set the events in motion.

"We just want to send a message to Cavendish to ask him for more respect,"
said AG2R sports director Gilles Mas told AFP.  He added that, along with the injuries to Lloyd, their sprinter Sebastien Hinault was elbowed by the British rider during fourth stage.

According to AFP, bystanders claimed that Cavendish spat on the ground in response to criticism from riders after Tuesday's incident.  Cavendish was penalised 25 points in the polka-dot points jersey classification, 30 seconds in the overall classification and 200 Swiss Francs (~$175, £118, €143). He was also relegated to the back of the group that he was part of before the crash, putting him 105th on the stage.

"I'm not going to say that I'm not at fault, but I don't think I should have been held as the sole responsible.  That's disappointing," Cavendish said.

"It's sad that people are badly injured. I don't want to make a big show about it.

"It's the worst fall of my career, the worst injuries that I've suffered, but there are riders who are in a worse state than me."

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