Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Cavendish did not take the start of Tour de France Stage 2 on Sunday after crashing at the end of Stage 1. He met with the media outside the team bus prior to the start of the stage to talk about the decision. His responses are in the text below.
On the crash and the decision to not start Stage 2
"When I got on my bike after my crash yesterday it wasn't possible to hold my handlebars. When I took my skinsuit off I saw there was something wrong with my shoulder. It was sticking out a bit like it shouldn't. So we went to get it checked up and I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't move my shoulder. I held a bit of optimism that maybe it was just swelling and it would go down a bit this morning, but it's actually worse this morning. I can't move my arm. I'm gutted, I'm majorly disappointed, but it could be worse."
On next steps for himself, as well as OPQS
"I've got to go and get an MRI to see if it needs surgery, chances are it probably does. Unfortunately I'm likely to be out for a few weeks. I'm devastated to be fair. I'm in pain as well. I think anyone who crashes on the first day of the Tour de France is going to be disappointed. But Omega Pharma – Quick-Step is here with a strong team. We've got Tony Martin the world time trial champion. We've got Niki Terpstra, who won Paris-Roubaix. We got Matteo Trentin who won a stage of the Tour de France in his first year last year. We've got Jan Bakelants who won a stage in his first Tour last year and had the yellow jersey. We have a really versatile team. I'm confident we will be successful. We weren't just here to win the sprints, we are here to be successful within the full 21 days. We've got a strong and motivated group. I'm still massively optimistic about the team, there's a great ambiance, the eight guys who are there now. We've got an incredible team here and I'm actually devastated that I won't be sharing that success at the Tour with them."
On the crash and Simon Gerrans
"Simon and I came up, and I think two of us wanted Peter Sagan's wheel. The others moved to the left. I wanted to go but Gerrans was there. I used my head to try to take us across the road. Gerrans wasn't budging, I wasn't budging, we crossed bars and we both went down. At the end of the race, in different circumstances, I would have hit the brakes and not tried to go for the win. The stage had been lost. I wanted it that bad and I tried to find a gap that wasn't there. I spoke to Simon after the stage, I asked if he was OK, and I also spoke to him on the phone later and apologized to him. I really hope he's OK and today's a good stage for him. I wish him a good rest of the tour."
On perspective about his circumstances
"It could be worse. You saw my helmet yesterday for Helmet for Heroes, I've got friends who were in Afghanistan who've got no legs and one arm and I think when you put that into perspective, I don't think I'm too bad. I think I'm back in a few weeks. I'm disappointed but things could definitely be worse."
On what he has to say to his supporters attending the Tour de France
"I want to say to all the supporters at the Tour to enjoy it, it's going to be an incredible race. It was amazing to see the support that was out yesterday and I'm looking forward to watching it. I've been missing it like crazy but I'm looking forward to seeing it up north and then tomorrow in London."