11 Jul 2015

Henderson out, Cavendish back to winning ways

7:00 am on 11 July 2015

New Zealand has no more riders in cycling's Tour de France, after Greg Henderson was forced to withdraw before the latest stage.

Henderson had been struggling with two broken ribs since crashing on Tuesday.

New Zealand's Greg Henderson was involved in a crash but crossed the finish line at the end of the third stage between  Antwerp and Huy.

Greg Henderson after his crash Photo: AFP

Fellow New Zealander Jack Bauer was forced to pull out of the Tour after he suffered a broken hip when he came off his bike in one the fifth stage's many crashes.

Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in the seventh stage in Brittany, while fellow Brit Chris Froome remains the overall leader, after German Tony Martin abandoned the race with a collarbone fracture.

The stage win was Cavendish's 26th in cycling's greatest race.

The Etixx-Quick Step rider, who crashed out in the first stage of last year, had appeared far from his brilliant best in the first sprints of the Tour but he finally delivered in Brittany.

Cavendish perfectly timed his effort to leapfrog German Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), who finished second after winning two stages this year.

Slovakian Peter Sagan finished third.

Froome, who did not wear the distinctive yellow jersey out of respect for Martin, leads Sagan by 11 seconds and American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) by 13.

Spain's Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who fell off his bike in the neutral zone, is seventh and 36 seconds off the pace.

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy is 12th and 1:38 behind Froome while Colombian Nairo Quintana, the last member of the Big Four, lies 16th, 1:56 off the pace.

Sunday's eighth stage will take the peloton over 181.5 km from Rennes to Mur de Bretagne, up a short but punchy climb.