Tour de France 2017: Mark Cavendish out of race after breaking shoulder in crash

Mark Cavendish (centre)
Mark Cavendish has won 30 stages on the Tour de France

Britain's Mark Cavendish pulled out of the Tour de France after breaking his right shoulder in a crash.

The 32-year-old collided with world champion Peter Sagan before hitting the barriers in a sprint finish on stage four in Vittel.

Cavendish, who has won 30 career stages, said he was "massively disappointed".

Sagan was disqualified from the Tour, although his Bora-Hansgrohe team protested the decision.

Cavendish added: "I feel I was in a good position to win and to lose that and even having to leave the Tour, a race I've built my whole career around, is really sad."

He dislocated the same shoulder when he crashed out of the Tour on the opening stage in 2014.

Team doctor Adrian Rotunno said Cavendish suffered a fracture to his scapula but there was no nerve damage and he would not require surgery.

Team Dimension Data tweet
Team Dimension Data confirmed Cavendish's withdrawal via Twitter

Only the legendary Eddy Merckx, with 34, has won more Tour stages than Cavendish.

The Manxman had fought for three months to overcome the Epstein-Barr virus to make it to the Tour start line in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

He was in contention for the stage victory on Tuesday when Sagan, battling for space with Cavendish on the right-hand side of the road, moved to his right.

The Slovak appeared to flick out an elbow as Cavendish was forced into the barriers at about 60km/h.

Sagan was initially docked 30 seconds, but the race jury looked at the crash again before disqualifying him.

"I was just following Demare and Sagan came over," Cavendish said immediately after the stage.

"I get on with Peter well, but I don't get the elbow - I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that."

Wednesday's stage was won by Arnaud Demare, who became the first Frenchman to win a bunch sprint stage at the Tour since 2006.

Briton Geraint Thomas, riding for Team Sky, kept his overall lead, despite also crashing in the closing stages in a separate incident.

Defending champion Chris Froome remains second in the general classification, 12 seconds behind compatriot Thomas.

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