ROUEN, France ● Britain’s Mark Cavendish avoided injury, and the possible end of his Olympic dream, after surviving a crash at the end of the Tour de France fourth stage here Wednesday.
The Team Sky rider, a favourite for Olympic road race gold in London on July 28, got his Tour campaign off to a great start after sprinting to victory on stage two on Monday.
But on the second ideal stage for a bunch sprint, Cavendish was one of seven or eight riders caught in a pile-up which appeared to have been caused by a fall from South African Robert Hunter.
The Isle of Man sprinter got back on his bike to finish the 214 km stage from Abbeville to Rouen, but was well out of contention for a bunch sprint won by German rival Andre Greipel ahead of Italian Alessandro Petacchi.
Cavendish got back to his team bus an angry man, but will live to fight another day according to Sky principal Dave Brailsford.
“I can’t repeat what he said when he came into the bus,” Brailsford told French television.
“Mark’s lost a bit of skin but it’s not bad. He’s in a little pain but he’s okay.”