- Tour de France, Stage 10
Cavendish foiled by late crash
Mark Cavendish had to settle for third in Stage 10 of the 100th Tour de France after being involved in a crash during the final 200 metres, leaving Marcel Kittel to clinch victory by a wheel over Andre Greipel in another pulsating sprint finish.
Omega-Pharma rider Cavendish touched shoulders with Kittel's Argos team-mate Tom Veelers on the home stretch, causing the Dutchman to wipe out in spectacular fashion - but the Manxman later stated that he was not at fault for the crash.
"Just seen the sprint. I believe I didn't move line," Cavendish posted on his Twitter account. "I'm actually coming past Veelers and we touch elbows when he moves. Anyway, hope he's OK."
Fellow Briton and Tour leader Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton to retain the yellow jersey, while green jersey leader and Cannondale rider Peter Sagan finished fourth.
Following Monday's rest day, the riders faced a tough, bumpy 197km ride between Saint-Gildas-des-Bois and Saint Malo, which featured a solitary category four climb.
Cavendish finished behind Sagan and Greipel at the intermediate sprint, 64km from the finish line - Luis Angel Mate had already taken maximum points as a lead group of five established a strong lead over the chasing peloton.
There was a near miss for Froome as Juan Antonio Flecha went down heavily when negotiating a roundabout - only three riders in front of Le Tour leader.
Soon the chasing pack had been caught, and another sprint finish was on the cards as Cavendish, Greipel and Kittel made their moves to the front.
However, Manxman Cavendish tangled with the slowing Veermans in the final few metres, sending the Argos rider crashing to the floor - incredibly, none of the peloton were brought down in the aftermath.
Meanwhile, Froome stayed well out of trouble and finished safely to retain a one minute 25 seconds lead over Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Movistar.
Stage 10 result
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 4hr 53min 25sec
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
5. William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
9. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
General classification after Stage 10
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Team Sky 41hr 52min 43sec
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team + 1min 25sec
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team + 1min 44sec
4. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin + 1min 50sec
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff +1min 51 sec
6. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar + 2min 02sec
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp + 2min 28sec
9. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha +2min 31 sec
10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar +2min 45sec