It was another day of crashes along the Tour de France’s 218 kilometre 7th stage that claimed one notable victim; British and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins, who had high hopes this year, but who has quit the race after breaking his collarbone.
Later, in one of the Tour’s toughest sprint finishes so far this year Mark Cavendish again proved too hot to handle for the field and romped home by a bikelength despite being put under heavy pressure.
The HTC team closed ranks around him a couple of kilometres from home and never let the competition get a sniff.
Thor Hushovd retains the yellow jersey. Cavendish is now just 17 points shy of his coveted sprinter’s green jersey.
Cavendish did not have it easy, beating ace sprinters Alessandro Petacchi and Andre Greipel to the line.
In the overall standings David Millar stays in fourth, eight seconds behind, just waiting to have his say in the mountains.