Mark Cavendish crashed hard in the final straightaway sprint at the Tour de France on Tuesday and was attended to by multiple people as riders crossed the finish line.
Arnaud Demare won the stage after multiple crashes in the last mile, becoming the first Frenchman to win a bunch sprint since 2006.
Shortly before that, Tour leader Geraint Thomas was caught up when riders crashed ahead of him but appeared not to suffer serious injury. He retained the yellow jersey.
Then, on the final straightaway, Cavendish was squeezed into a barrier on the right side after colliding with Peter Sagan‘s right elbow.
Cavendish spent minutes on the ground but eventually got back on his bike and rolled across the finish line favoring his right arm.
Cavendish is riding this year’s Tour after after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus in April. He has 30 career Tour stage wins, four shy of Eddy Merckx‘s record.
Cannondale–Drapac teammate Nate Brown, who on Monday took the King of the Mountains polka-dot jersey from countryman Taylor Phinney, retained that jersey Tuesday. He’s the first American to do so in Tour history.
Wednesday’s Stage 5 is 100 miles, but the key is the final eight kilometers. The general classification contenders will be put on notice on the short, steep ascent to the La Planche des Belles Filles. This is where Chris Froome won his first Tour stage in 2012.
NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN’s live coverage starts at 7 a.m. ET.
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