/ Cycling

No further action after Cavendish has urine thrown at him by Tour de France spectator

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 18:08 | Comments

Cavendish has yet to issue a comment on the incident
Cavendish has yet to issue a comment on the incident

No further action will be taken against a spectator who threw urine at Mark Cavendish during the Tour de France today, according to the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team.

The incident occurred during the 33km individual time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel, with the roads from Avranches lined with fans.

Cavendish was jeered by some of those fans after the British national champion was embroiled in controversy last night when a crash late in stage 10 to Saint-Malo sent Tom Veelers to the floor and ended Cavendish's hopes of a stage win.

Although Cavendish was cleared by the race commissaries, many fans blamed him for the collision on social media and one fan took matters even further today.

Cavendish remained silent when asked if he would comment on the incident, offering only a shake of the head before disappearing inside the team bus.

Team manager Patrick Lefevere condemned the actions of the spectator involved. "I regret this, I always felt that cycling fans were gentlemen, enthusiastic people" he said.

"I regret this, I always felt that cycling fans were gentlemen, enthusiastic people" - Patrick Lefevere

"Mark is sad, he's not upset, just sad. I cannot blame anyone, there are 100,000 or 200,000 people on the road, and one person decided to do this."

"I couldn't see it was urine but I thought people were quite negative," Holm said on Cycling Weekly's website. "So congrats to the media for yesterday making him look like he caused the crash."

"The international commissaries said he made no mistake. It's not going to be a long discussion, It's part of the race. And Cav would never, ever crash somebody on purpose."

Today's incident was first reported by Cavendish's team-mate Jerome Pineau on Twitter, who said the incident was scandalous.

Race leader Chris Froome was disappointed to hear about what had happened. "Mark's one of the big characters in the sport, some people love him, some hate him, but to do something disrespectful like that is really sad.”

"It ruins the whole atmosphere for the spectators coming to the sport. One individual doing that just leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth.”

Sporting director Brian Holm said the team would take no further action, and pointed the finger at the media for the coverage of last night's crash.

Cyclists have always been vulnerable on the roads, particularly in the major events like the Tour where with large crowds line the routes.

In 1975, Eddy Merckx was famously punched in the kidneys while chasing what would have been a record sixth Tour de France victory, while Lance Armstrong was given bodyguards for a time trial on Alpe d'Huez in 2004 after receiving death threats.

The team are now hoping that Cavendish can refocus on the rest of the Tour. He has not had the best of luck at this year’s competition.

Two crashes - including yesterday's - have robbed him of opportunities to win stages, while he was denied the chance to take the yellow jersey on the opening day with the chaos in Bastia.

Holm says it will be difficult for Cavendish to bounce back especially if the current controversy does not die down "I hope it's not a general situation," he said. "He's going to have some long days in the Alps if people keep throwing p*** on him!"

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