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Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 19:14 UK

Mark Cavendish penalised for Tour of Switzerland crash

Mark Cavendish went down first bringing down many other riders
Cavendish (centre) was one of the riders to crash near the finish line

Mark Cavendish was given a 30-second penalty and docked 25 points after a crash during the final moments of stage four in the Tour of Switzerland.

The Briton was well positioned in the stage but touched wheels with Heinrich Haussler, sparking a major pile-up.

Alessandro Petacchi picked his way through and won the stage, with Tony Martin retaining his overall lead.

Haussler had a deep wound to his elbow and will take no further part in the race but Cavendish was not badly hurt.

However, in addition the 25-year-old was fined 200 Swiss francs.

A spokesman for Cavendish's HTC-Columbia team said he had grazes and bruises but was likely to be fit to race on Wednesday, although he will have an X-ray before a decision is made.

"He has skin rash everywhere," said team doctor Helge Ripenhof. "In the right shoulder, the right hip, the right knee, and he's very shaken but no broken bones as far we can see."

A furious Haussler said: "I didn't see Cavendish coming. He drove into my wheel and before I knew it, I went down and was lying on the ground. I could have won the stage."

Petacchi said: "I don't like winning this way. If Cavendish hadn't crashed, for sure he'd have won.

"I was far behind, and I didn't have any chance to win otherwise.

"Maybe the wind had something to do with this unfortunate finish."

Matti Breschel and Marco Marcato finished second and third.

Team Sky's best-performing rider on the day was Juan Antonio Flecha, who came home in sixth place, while team-mate Thomas Lovkvist remains eight seconds off the overall lead.

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see also
Cavendish wins California stage
17 May 10 |  Cycling
Cavendish withdrawn after V-sign
30 Apr 10 |  Cycling
Cavendish powers to stage victory
29 Apr 10 |  Cycling

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