Mark Cavendish won Thursday's Stage 11, but it was not without controversy. Mark Renshaw, his HTC-Columbia teammate, was seen head-butting Garmin-Transition's Julian Dean three times during the final 400m of the sprint, and then also was seemingly trying to block the advance of Garmin's Tyler Farrar. For his actions, Renshaw was immediately disqualified from the stage, and after further review, he was also completely kicked out of the Tour, making him the first rider disqualified in eight years (doping aside).
Via our cycling blog, Podium Cafe, here's video of how it all went down (feel free to jump ahead to the 4:15 mark):
And now, analysis from Podium Cafe, who was surprised with the severe punishment against Renshaw:
Mark Renshaw serves as lead-out to ace sprinter Mark Cavendish and Renshaw has a few tricks up his sleeve. He is best known for his ability to thread through the traffic in the final kilometer and deliver Cavendish to the final 200 meters. Today, Renshaw crossed the invisible line between aggressive riding in the final kilometer and dangerous riding. At least, that's how the commissairs saw it. Me, I expected Renshaw to get the big R for relegation, but to see him removed from the Tour came as quite a surprise.