Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France preparations were boosted as he sprinted to victory on the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, however Sir Bradley Wiggins endured a tough day on the bike.
Cavendish powered to his ninth success of the season after benefitting from being handed a strong lead by his Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team-mates.
The Manxman launched his sprint from Michael Morkov's wheel in the last 200m and passed Peter Sagan before pressing home his advantage in consummate style.
"It wasn't so easy with a headwind finish,” Cavendish said. “It was chaotic in the peloton with a lot of teams trying to get it right.
“My team worked 100 per cent and Mark Renshaw moved me around the peloton before putting me into position.
"With the wind, and it being slightly uphill, you had to time your sprint perfectly and I knew you had to go between 200-150m.
“I waited even when the others jumped and managed to pass them, so I was happy with that."
However, while there was plenty to celebrate for Cavendish it was a different story for Wiggins with the Team Sky rider falling back after suffering a nasty crash 25km from home.
Also suffering from a mild chest infection, the 2012 Tour de France champion was checked over by doctors before the decision was taken on Wednesday morning to pull him from the rest of the tour with swelling and bruising to his right thigh.
Wiggins said: "Ironically, I was the last man in the peloton, trying to stay out of trouble when it happened. They all slammed on the brakes ahead of me but there was another rider riding full gas who rode straight into the back of me.
“I’ve got quite a lot of swelling on the left-hand side of my right knee. It’s one of those things, I’ve been pretty fortunate this year with crashes.
"I probably could have started today (Wednesday) but it’s best to play it safe and come home now. I really want to try to be ready for the Nationals next Thursday so I didn’t want to jeopardise that for the sake of pushing on and potentially doing more damage."
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