Mark Cavendish furious after high-speed Ferrari crash
Manxman calls for rival to be thrown off Giro D'Italia as he escapes serious injury in sprint
CYCLIST Mark Cavendish lashed out on Twitter and called for Italian rival Roberto Ferrari to be thrown off the Giro D'Italia for dangerous riding after a dramatic crash that could have ended his Olympic hopes at the end of stage three of the race on Monday.
The British world champion was sent sprawling onto the tarmac at high speed after Ferrari swerved violently across him and took out his front wheel with the line just 150 metres away.
Race leader Taylor Phinney also crashed out in the chaos that unfolded after the initial impact, and eventually crossed the line in an ambulance.
Cavendish, riding for Team Sky, had hooked onto the rear wheel of Tyler Farrar in the final stages and was preparing for a trademark burst for the line when Ferrari suddenly intervened. The Italian later claimed that he had not seen Cavendish before crashing into him, but the Manxman was unimpressed.
After limping across the line with some painful cuts and bruises, but no broken bones, he tweeted: "Ouch! Crashing at 75kph isn't nice! Nor is seeing Roberto Ferrari's manoeuvre. Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red & World Champ jerseys."
He later called for the Italian to be expelled from the Italian race. "Is the team of Roberto Ferrari or the UCI going to do the right thing? Other riders, including myself, have been sent home for much less."
In the event the boss of Ferrari's AND team, Gianni Savio, apologised but insisted it was not a deliberate move. But race officials later relegated Ferrari to 192nd in the field.
The crash highlights the dangers for cyclists in Olympic year. A serious fall resulting in a broken bone could have ended his chances of riding at the Games.
Ferrari's dangerous manouevre also came on a day when crashes were uppermost in the minds of the riders. It was on stage three of the 2011 Giro that Belgian Wouter Weylandt was killed, and there was a minute's silence in his honour at the start of the day.