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Renshaw expelled for helping Cavendish win stage

 Mark Cavendish of Britain crosses the finish line to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 184.5 kilometers (114.6 miles) with s...
 Mark Cavendish of Britain crosses the finish line to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 184.5 kilometers (114.6 miles) with s...

APTOPIX France Cycling Tour De France

Mark Cavendish of Britain crosses the finish line to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 184.5 kilometers (114.6 miles) with s...

France Cycling Tour De France

Mark Cavendish of Britain crosses the finish line to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 184.5 kilometers (114.6 miles) with s...

Mark Renshaw was expelled from the Tour de France after helping teammate Mark Cavendish win the 11th stage on Thursday.
Andy Schleck of Luxembourg retained the overall lead, cruising into the finish in the pack after riding part of the stage discussing a vacation with his main rival for the title _ defending champion Alberto Contador.
Renshaw, the lead-out man for Cavendish on the HTC Columbia team, three times head-butted Julian Dean of New Zealand _ the lead-out man for Tyler Farrar on Garmin-Transitions _ in an apparent bid to push him out of the way during the sprint finish.
"This is cycling, it's not wrestling," course director Jean-Francois Pescheux said. He said removing Renshaw was "severe" punishment, but that his violation was "flagrant."
"There are rules to respect."
Cavendish rushed to the defense of Renshaw, and said Dean had attempted to elbow the Australian.
"Mark Renshaw fought to prevent the lane from being closed on him," said Cavendish, referring to his forward trajectory, through a translator on French TV. "He didn't want to be blocked."
Cavendish, a sprint specialist from the Isle of Man, took his third stage win in this Tour in the 184.5-kilometer (114.6-mile) trek from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence which featured one mid-grade climb.
The Briton, one of the world's best sprinters, second-placed Alessandro Petacchi of Italy and third-placed Farrar of the United States all finished in a time of 4 hours, 42 minutes, 29 seconds.
Cavendish said he was happy about his 13th career stage win at the Tour, but was also sad that his teammate had been sent packing.
The stage was mainly flat, and thus favored sprinters. The general classification didn't change, with all the top contenders finishing behind the sprinters in the main pack.
Schleck earned the yellow jersey for a third straight day. Contador of Spain remained second overall _ 41 seconds behind. Fellow Spaniard Samuel Sanchez was third, 2:45 behind.
Schleck had an easy _ if hot _ day, and did a bit of chatting in the peloton.
"It was quiet and we can act like normal people," said Schleck through a translator, adding that Contador was a friend and they had gone on vacation together. "So we spoke about _ we remembered _ our holidays."
The Luxembourg rider finished 65th, and Contador was 40th, with the same time as Cavendish.
Seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong, who has already ruled himself out of contention for the title, lost time for a second straight day: He finished in 114th place, 29 seconds behind the main pack. He's 32nd overall, 17:51 behind Schleck.
Friday's ride is a bit more bumpy, with five mid-grade climbs on tap during the 210.5-kilometer stage from Bourg-de-Peage to Mende in deeply rural southeastern France.


Updated : 2020-12-05 04:20 GMT+08:00