Mark Cavendish out of Abu Dhabi Tour on opening day with concussion


Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be without their race leader Mark Cavendish for the remainder of the Abu Dhabi Tour, which started on Wednesday.

The 32-year old fell before the race officially began, appearing to land heavily on his shoulder.

Team Dimension Data have since confirmed that Cavendish sustained concussion and whiplash and was withdrawn as a safety protocol.

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Team Dimension Data said Wednesday's accident occurred in the neutral zone when the race director's auto slowed suddenly.

Cavendish attempted to ride on but was forced to abandon the race shortly after.

Cavendish will be hoping the crash will have caused only temporary damage after a 2017 season blighted by illness and injury.

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It says he fell on the shoulder which he broke past year, suffering whiplash and a concussion in the process.

Therefore, the call was made for Cav to stop the race. "We will monitor Mark's condition closely going forward".

Cavendish was briefly examined by medical officials and tried to rejoin the peloton, but he abandoned a short time later and was taken to a local hospital.

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