Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cav Won't Give Up Yet despite Injury

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cav Won't Give Up Yet despite Injury

Article excerpt

MARK Cavendish could still start stage five of the Tour de France today despite suffering multiple injuries in a crash which saw world champion Peter Sagan disqualified from the race.

Sagan nudged Cavendish into the barriers just 120 metres from the line as they sprinted into Vittel, sending the Manxman to hospital for tests on his right shoulder and hand. The Team Dimension Data rider had not sounded optimistic immediately after the 207.5km stage from Mondorf-les-Bains ended, but initial x-rays found no broken bones, leaving open the possibility he will be on the start line in Vittel today.

"I'm OK," Cavendish said. "I'm in a little bit of pain and I'll go for a few more tests now. But we'll see - I've done the shoulder before so I know how that feels but I'm OK. Got a couple of stitches in my finger."

S

Asked about his chances of continuing in the race, he said: "If it doesn't show anything I'll try. But in terms of pain, I've done my shoulder twice before and I'm in more pain now than I was for one of my shoulders, so that doesn't make me too optimistic just on feeling.

"But I'm not a doctor so if I can't make it work I'll see. But I'm in a little bit of pain right now, I've got no movement.

"Ultimately I don't also want to be a risk to the other riders as well. If I can't pull on my bars, if I can't brake with this finger - I don't want to be a hazard to the other guys."

Sagan was initially docked 30 seconds for his role in the crash, but the race jury looked at the incident again before announcing the Slovakian's participation - and his bid to win a record-equalling sixth straight green jersey - is over.

"We have decided to disqualify Peter Sagan from Tour de France 2017 as he endangered some of his colleagues seriously in the final metres of the sprint which happened in Vittel," said race jury president Philippe Marien.

That came after Cavendish's sports director Roger Hammond and performance director Rolf Aldag called for Sagan's punishment to be upgraded.

Cavendish, a 30-time Tour stage winner, had fought for three months to overcome the Epstein-Barr virus just to make it to the start line in Dusseldorf at the weekend, and an early exit would be a bitter blow. …

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