One of the cycling's top sprinters, English star Mark Cavendish, is out of the Tour de France almost before it began.
With le Tour opening with the first three legs in England before crossing the Channel to France, Cavendish was hoping to make a splash for the home fans in the first stage on Saturday but instead made a big crash on the sprint to the finish.
Cavendish tried to squeeze past Simon Gerrans to spring toward the finish but instead they clipped wheels and each went tumbling to the pavement with riders zipping by, just shy of the finish. Cavendish got the worst end of the crash and suffered a separated AC joint in his shoulder.
After the crash Cavendish pretty much knew but he had the official word come down on Sunday; he is indeed done. There will be no Green Jersey push for Cav this year. From the Independent:
"I'm absolutely devastated," Cavendish said at York Racecourse.
"We kind of knew last night. We knew straight away. I normally bounce back from crashes quite well; I assessed my body yesterday and for the first time in my career I knew something was wrong.
"I was in pain last night. I held a bit of optimism that it was maybe just swelling and would go down overnight, but it's actually worse this morning. It's not possible to start from a medical point of view."
One of Cavendish's top sprinting rivals, Marcel Kittel of Germany, won the first stage to take the lead not only in the Green Jersey race but also the Yellow Jersey ... as shortlived as that will prove to be.