Cycling

Cavendish doused with urine at Tour

Image: Tour de France rider Mark Cavendish (© Jeff Pachoud / Getty Images)
It wasn't a fun time for Mark Cavendish on Wednesday.
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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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A spectator reportedly threw urine at rider Mark Cavendish during Wednesday’s time trials at the Tour de France.

According to the BBC, the liquid was thrown at Cavendish from a bottle during Stage 11, and Cavendish “initially (thought) it was water before realizing what it was from the taste.”

Cavendish has not commented on the incident, but Omega Pharma-Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevere did, telling The Guardian: "I didn't see it happen, but you had only to smell his jersey. Mark is sad, you might have expected him to be angry, but he's just sad. I cannot blame anyone. There are 100,000 or 200,000 people on the road, and one person decided to do this."

The attack came just one day after Cavendish made contact with Dutch rider Tom Veelers during a sprint to the finish line of Stage 10, causing Veelers to crash. He then grabbed a reporter’s tape recording during his post-race interview session:

On Tuesday night, Cavendish defended himself, addressing the contact with Veelers and the stolen tape recorder on Twitter:

As for Wednesday’s incident, Cavendish's teammate Jerome Pineau tweeted in his native French that he was "ashamed" of what happened on the course. Lance Armstrong, however, didn't seem quite as sympathetic:

In his defense, Armstrong would know. In 2004, he had to have armed bodyguards accompany him during a time trial at L'Alpe d'Huez after receiving death threats.

Other past Tours have seen riders get punched, shot by air rifles, and attacked with tacks. Competitors have also “had wine thrown at them, and sides of raw meat waved in their faces,” according to The Guardian.

Through 11 stages, Cavendish is in 149th place, with a 1:44:09 gap separating him from leader Christopher Froome.

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