Sunday, July 19, 2009

You can always depend on the French...

Officals rob Cav of green jersey hopes


UNLUCKY 13: Cavendish may have lost any chance of winning back the green jersey after today's controversy
UNLUCKY 13: Cavendish may have lost any chance of winning back the green jersey after today's controversy.

A DECISION by Tour de France officials to relegate Mark Cavendish on today's 14th stage could have cost him any chance of winning the green jersey. Cavendish was demoted in a controversial sprint against green jersey Thor Hushovd in which the Norwegian attempted to get past on Cav's right hand side with the crash barriers on Hushovd's right.

Cavendish finished ahead of Hushovd to take 13th place, but it was to be an unlucky number for the Manxman. Race officials decided that Cavendish had moved to the right as the Norwegian tried to squeeze between him and the barriers and was therefore guilty of what they described as 'irregular sprinting'.

TV replays showed Cavendish drifting very slightly to the right as he looked around to see where Hushovd was. Cavendish initially looked over his left shoulder, a manouvre which any cyclist will know often causes a rider to drift to the right.

It looked to be a very harsh decision but the Tour de France's chief commissaire told ITV interviewer Ned Boulting that Cavendish had unfairly prevented Hushovd from getting past and the decision to relegate the Manxman from 13th to 154th place was final.

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