Mark Cavendish sprayed with urine at Tour de France

Bryn Lennon

A day after a controversial crash in the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish was hit with a bottle of urine during Wednesday's individual time trial.

During Wednesday's individual time trial at the Tour de France, a fan threw urine on 24-time stage winner Mark Cavendish. The rider from Manx originally thought it was water being sprayed on him, but, unfortunately, the taste of the liquid in question told him otherwise.

Cavendish declined comment afterward, but Omega Pharma-Quickstep team manager, Patrick Lefevere, said the sprinter wasn't pissed, just sad.

"I regret this, I always felt that cycling fans were gentlemen, enthusiastic people. 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."

Cavendish's teammate, France's Jerome Pineau, tweeted, "Ashamed when my friend Mark Cavendish tells me he has been whistled and even sprayed with urine on the course. It's scandalous."

The incident comes just a day after Cavendish collided with Tom Veelers before the finish in Stage 10, causing the Dutch rider to crash hard. Race officials ruled Cavendish did nothing wrong, but when he tried to call Veelers to say sorry, Veelers reportedly ignored it, and instead requested an in-person apology.

"He is really disappointed. He's more down because he thinks, and I think he's right, he didn't deserve it."

Lefevere added: "He can maybe have a handshake tomorrow morning with Tom Veelers if he agrees with this. This case has to be closed."

This is hardly the first time a rider has been assaulted at the Tour, something the sport's most infamous champion knows all too well, having received death threats in 2004.

Indeed, riders have been punched, doused with wine, taunted with raw meat, sabotaged with tacks, and even shot with an air rifle.

Truly, a sport of the gods.

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