British cycling star Mark Cavendish had urine thrown at him by a spectator during the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, his team have confirmed.
The incident happened during the 33-kilometre individual time-trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, a day after Cavendish was blamed for a collision that sent Argos rider Tom Veelers crashing to the ground in Saint-Malo.
“Probably some spectators were not very pleased with what happened yesterday and they yelled to him and then one other idiot threw urine at him,” Omega Pharma team CEO Patrick Lefevere said.
“Mark is not upset, but he is really disappointed because he thinks he didn’t deserve this.”
Lefevere was unable to confirm when exactly the incident had occurred, but sought to play down its importance as Cavendish’s teammate Tony Martin, the world time-trial champion, went for the stage win. “The cycling public is known for being very fair, we have no hooligans, but there are thousands and thousands of people on the roads and not everybody is a gentleman,” the Belgian added.
Tour de France leader Chris Froome came to the defence of former team-mate Mark Cavendish on Wednesday and hit out at the spectator who threw urine at the sprint star.
Froome said what happened “ruined” what has otherwise been a wonderful atmosphere. “Some people love him, some people hate him. But to do something disrespectful like that, that’s sad. It ruins the whole atmosphere,” said Froome.