Mark Cavendish picked up valuable sprint points during the third stage of the 2011 Tour de France, beating a cluster of riders to the line during the intermediate sprint behind a breakaway. But Cavendish and fellow sprinter Thor Hushovd both learned they were disqualified from the sprint following the stage after race officials deemed their actions inappropriate. The two made contact during the sprint to the line, though it seemed like ordinary racing at the time.
A judge said Cavendish used his head to stay on balance after Hushovd deviate from his line, forcing the two to make contact (via Cycling News).
HTC-Highroad's Rolf Aldag confirmed the news to Cyclingnews. “The chief commissar confirmed the news and talked to Allan Peiper. He said that Thor and Cav were disqualified. Thor lost his line but Cav can’t use his head."
Cavendish took to his ever-entertaining Twitter account following the stage to express disappointment while adding Hushovd offered to take the penalty himself.
Just discovered Thor & I have been disqualified from the intermediate sprint today. Seriously no idea why?! #devastated. Just heard that Thor's offered to take the punishment solely. What a true gentleman. I reckon it won't change f***-all though. But thank you
Hushovd is in yellow after Garmin-Cervelo took home top honors in the team time trials on Sunday. The disqualification dropped Hushovd from third to fourth in the sprint standings, though teammate Tyler Farrar still sits in second behind Jose Joaquin Rojas, the current holder of the green jersey.
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