World champion's girlfriend slams his team over fall
World champion Mark Cavendish went crashing to earth again yesterday on the road to Rouen and prompted an anguished outburst from his partner, Peta Todd, that Team Sky did not offer him enough protection.
Todd, the mother of Cavendish's three-month-old daughter Delilah-Grace, said on Twitter: "That's what happens when you take a man that is so harshly marked to the Tour without proper protection."
Todd recently saw Cavendish involved in a bad crash during the Giro d'Italia when Robert Ferrari took him out with a dangerous move.
"This is people's lives. If you have not got the intention of making sure you have the team to look after the world champion, don't just wing it. He is just a man."
The peloton were travelling at around 55kph just over 2.4km from the finish when Robbie Hunter went crashing to the ground. The world champion stood no chance of avoiding a collision and neither did Bernie Eisel, whose left eye required stitches after he appeared to hit a kerb.
Cavendish later tweeted to say he had "taken some scuffs on his left side, but I bounced pretty well again."
A third Sky rider Edvald Boasson Hagen miraculously managed to avoid the mayhem, but with the incident inside the final 3km none of those involved lost any further time in the grand classification, which is led by Fabian Cancellara by seven seconds.
Cavendish's former team-mate and sprint rival Andre Greipel won the stage, but only had a little sympathy for the World Champion.
"Crashes are part of the race," the German said.
"I hope he is okay and we can see another sprint against him.
"They are fine, nothing broken, although there are always a few bumps and bruises when you hit the deck at that speed," said Sky's sport director Sean Yates afterwards.
"They are not happy, though. There was a fair bit of bad language because it was a chance missed at a win. Cav felt really good today, you could see that the way he took the intermediate sprint." (© Daily Telegraph, London)