Sept 9, 2012 – Team Sky rider Mark Cavendish blew his chance to start the Tour of Britain with a stage victory when he crashed with a sprint finish in sight on Sunday.
Cavendish, the 2011 world champion, fell from his bike in the closing moments of the opening stage as riders collided along the narrow lanes of Norfolk.
Team Sky went on to claim the stage win as Luke Rowe kept clear of the carnage to cross the finish line first.
Tour de France winner and Olympic time trial gold medalist Bradley Wiggins had started the race off at Ipswich Waterfront and the Briton will pass on the Team GB victory parade in London on Monday when the riders head to Nottingham.
A group of four, including Kristian House of Rapha Condor, Rony Martias of Saur Sojasun, United Healthcare’s Jonny Clarke and AN Post’s Niels Wytinck, made an early break from the peloton.
As the 200-kilometer course moved up along the East Anglia coast and on past the halfway stage, they had opened up a lead of around three-and-a-half minutes over the chasing pack.
But the peloton closed in to under two minutes behind the breakaway ahead of the final King of the Mountains category three climbs at Swanton Morley.
The bunch finish seemed to be to Cavendish’s advantage as he had managed to stay clear of some collisions after the peloton was finally reeled in inside the closing 15 kilometers.
However, as the group headed for home, Cavendish was caught up in another crash and his stage bid was effectively over.