Skip to main content

Cavendish in the clear over crash

updated 2:34 PM EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
Mark Cavendish took to Twitter to defend himself against accusations he had deliberately nudged Tom Veelers.
Mark Cavendish took to Twitter to defend himself against accusations he had deliberately nudged Tom Veelers.
  • Germany's Marcel Kittel of Argos won the 10th stage of the Tour de France
  • Stage held over 197 kilometers between Saint Gildas des Bois and Saint Malo
  • Mark Cavendish defends actions after appearing to knock Tom Veelers off bike
  • Team Sky's Chris Froome stays in yellow jersey

(CNN) -- Marcel Kittel won the 10th stage of the Tour de France -- but it was Mark Cavendish who stole the headlines Tuesday.

The Briton was forced to endure a nervous wait following the conclusion of the race with television pictures appearing to show him barging into Dutchman Tom Veelers during a sprint finish.

The Manxman had looked to be in contention as the 197 kilometer stage between Saint Gildas des Bois and Saint Malo approached its climax before clashing with Veelers within sight of the finish line.

The Argos rider suffered cuts and bruises but race jury president Vicente Tortajada Villaroya refused to blame Cavendish for the coming together.

Read: Cavendish chasing down 'The Cannibal'

"Veelers had done his job for Kittel, he was tired and he was looking down," the Spaniard told reporters.

Cycling for a better future
Becoming a Tour de France champ
How has cycling recovered?

"If we have to blame anyone, it is Veelers. There has been no complaint from Argos, but we were not considering sanctions or a disqualification."

Cavendish, who finished third following the incident, maintained his innocence after missing out on a 25th stage win.

"The commissaires are already putting the blame on me," he told reporters.

"You can see he (Veelers) moves a little bit right, I move a little bit left, it's not like I took his wheel, I'm following the road."

Cavendish also took to Twitter to defend his actions, tweeting: "Just seen the sprint. I believe I didn't move line. I'm actually coming past Veelers and we touch elbows when he moves. Anyway, hope he's OK.

"There's no way I'd move on a rider deliberately, especially one not contesting a sprint. I hope Tom's OK."

Winner Kittel, who is the first man to win two stages during this edition of the Tour, escaped the crash as the sprinters went full pelt for the line.

"I'm really happy to have won but the victory is tempered a bit by the crash. I hope Tom isn't too injured," he told reporters.

"Apparently Cavendish bumped into Tom and he lost control of his handlebars and crashed.

"I cannot imagine that Cavendish did that on purpose, it just happens sometimes in a hectic finale. Every sprinter wants to come to the front when he comes to the line and I hope that he's OK.

"You can see that Cavendish really bumped into the handlebar of Tom but it doesn't look like he does it on purpose. Tom swings off to the right and Cavendish to the left - and it's just very unlucky at that moment."

Read: Doping's 'white noise'

Team Sky's Chris Froome maintained his one minute 25 second lead over nearest rival Alejandro Valverde.

Froome was close to the crash towards the conclusion of the race but escaped with his lead intact.

"It was a bit tricky towards the end, but I always had a teammate with me and I kept out of trouble," he told reporters.

"It's always nervous when you come into the last 2 km with a bunch sprint coming off the final bend, but I was to one side of it and went around it without any problems."

Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:38 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Click through our gallery of the most dramatic moments from the world of sport.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.