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Cavendish and Kittel ejected from Tour de France after missing time cut

Joe Robinson
18 Jul 2018

Ferocious pace of General Classification contenders sees riders missing the time cut on race to La Rosiere

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) has been ejected from the 2018 Tour de France after missing the time cut on Stage 11's mountain top finish to La Rosiere. Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Cavendish's teammate Mark Renshaw also found themselves outside of the time limit.

The 30-time stage winner at the Tour finished over 40 minutes behind stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) in last place meaning he was over 10 minutes adrift of the time cut set at 31 minutes 27 seconds.

Kittel also missed this marker rolling in 42 minutes and 51 seconds down, only ahead of Cavendish.

The Manxman struggled off the back throughout the stage riding predominantly on his own. He was first distanced on the opening climb, the Montee de Bisanne, never seeing the peloton again.

Cavendish then climbed the Col du Pre alone, half an hour behind the main bunch.

As the majority of the peloton began the final climb of La Rosiere, Cavendish was still near the summit of the penultimate climb, Commet de Roseland, some 37 minutes adrift of Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) who was leading the race at the time.

According to the live Tour tracker, Renshaw was slightly ahead of Cavendish seemingly waiting for him to catch up. Between Renshaw and Cavendish was a lonely Kittel who had also been riding most of the day on his own, with no teammates for support.

Kittel's teammate Rick Zabel was also close to being cut from the race, sprinting over the line as if it were a flat stage. He was just seconds away from making it in time but the race jury allowed him to remain.

Also at risk of missing the time cut was double stage winner Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), although the Dutchman managed to make the summit with a few minutes to spare.

Cavendish will be bitterly disappointed with his ejection from the race. A succession of bad crashes earlier in the season blighted his Spring meaning the sprinter had taken only one victory ahead of the Tour, a race that he has decided to specifically target. 

However now the 33-year-old will be forced back to the drawing board as he considers his next steps for the 2018 season.