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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 15:56 UK

Cavendish writes off green jersey

Thor Hushovd gestures to Mark Cavendish after the finish on Saturday
Hushovd (left) successfully complained about Cavendish's riding on Saturday

Mark Cavendish says he has given up hope of claiming the Tour de France green jersey after being penalised for dangerous sprinting on Saturday.

He was stripped of the points he won and relegated to the back of the bunch after being found guilty of driving Thor Hushovd too close to the barriers.

Hushovd leads the green jersey battle by a near-unassailable 18 points.

Asked if he thought the penalty was harsh, Cavendish, 24, told Eurosport: "Obviously it is, everybody says that."

The green jersey is awarded to the rider who wins the most points during the entire Tour.

Points can be gained either by finishing in the first 15 positions on hilly stages or the first 25 on flat stages, and at intermediate sprints during a stage.

Cavendish and Hushovd have been trading the green jersey throughout the race and the Isle of Man rider was incensed that his Norwegian rival had protested in the first place.

"I hope Thor can sleep at night," said Cavendish. "If it means that much to him, then so be it.

"Thor either thinks so highly of himself that he thinks I was looking out for him or he thinks so highly of my team that the only way he can beat us is to complain like that."

Cavendish described Saturday's stage, in which he finished 13th before being demoted, as "maybe the worst day I've experienced on the bike".

606: DEBATE
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He will now concentrate on adding to his British record equalling eight career stage wins in the Tour when the race finishes in Paris next Sunday.

"I said I wanted to get to Paris and that is still the plan," said Cavendish, who has yet to complete a full Tour de France.

"Obviously the green jersey is out the window, but now I just want to win on the Champs Elysees."



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see also
Tour de France week three photos
24 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Ivanov wins as Hincapie moves up
18 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish equals record with win
15 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish surges to third victory
14 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Superb Cavendish triumphs again
06 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish storms to stage victory
05 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Understanding the Tour de France
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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