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Team boss hits out at organisers after Cavendish crash

ESPN staff
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Mark Cavendish took a knock to the head © Getty Images
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Race organisers of the Tour of Switzerland have been criticised for an "irresponsible" finish on stage five which saw Mark Cavendish crash out with a few hundred metres to go.

A series of tight turns 300m and 150m from the finish line caught out a number of riders and Cavendish only avoided serious injury after executing a parachute roll as he was catapulted over his handlebars.

Cavendish's Omega Pharma-Quick Step team director Patrick Lefevere hit out at organisers and asked how long teams would be forced to put up with challenging stage finishes. He tweeted:

After his prediction of accidents at the finish line proved correct, Lefevere added:

Cavendish was knocked off after Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) ran out of room and careered into Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) who in turned took out Cavendish. The sprinter was more measured in his reaction than his team director:

While Cavendish walked away from Wednesday's crash with little more than a sore head, Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins was forced to abandon the race after he was knocked off in the previous stage.

Team Sky doctors said Wiggins also had a minor chest infection and, with just four days of racing under his belt since last month's Tour of California, any hopes he had of making the Tour de France appear to have evaporated.

Wiggins said he was retiring from the Tour of Switzerland to concentrate on preparations for next Thursday's national time trial in Monmouthshire.

"Friday's time-trial had been my main goal for the Tour de Suisse, but I'd never have been 100 per cent for it," Wiggins told Team Sky's website. "The plan is to get home today, have 24 hours off the bike and then I'll be good to go again and finalise my preparations for Wales next week."

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