Cycling: Mark Cavendish out as Team Sky & Chris Froome sit third at Tirreno-Adriatico

Cycling: Mark Cavendish out as Team Sky & Chris Froome sit third at Tirreno-Adriatico
Italian Damiano Caruso will wear the first race leader’s blue jersey at the Tirreno-Adriatico for a second year in a row

Mark Cavendish is out of the Tirreno-Adriatico after another first-stage crash, while Team Sky and Chris Froome sit third following the opening team time trial.

Team Dimension Data’s Cavendish was taken to hospital with facial cuts and sore ribs.

Cavendish did cross the finish line, but his time was outside the limit.

The 32-year-old was also forced to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi Tour having sustained concussion and whiplash.

Team Sky and Froome finished the opening team time trial nine seconds off the lead.

Froome, 32, is preparing for May’s Giro d’Italia with just his second outing in the week-long race in Italy.

He is free to race pending a decision after returning an “adverse” drugs test at the Vuelta a Espana last year.

Italian Damiano Caruso will wear the leader’s blue jersey after BMC beat Mitchelton-Scott by four seconds.

BMC clocked 22 minutes 19 seconds on the 21.5km course in Lido di Camaiore.

Last month, Froome began his season with a 10th-placed finish at the five-day Ruta del Sol in Spain.

Geraint Thomas led the seven-man Team Sky squad of Froome, Gianni Moscon, Jonathan Castroviejo, Salvatore Puccio, Michal Kwiatkowski and Vasil Kiryienka across the line.

“I’m very happy, the guys were very, very fast today. When you start as the second team sometimes the weather conditions can change ahead of the final team,” said Team Sky sport director Matteo Tosatto.

“The guys were very strong, very happy and it was a good start to Tirreno-Adriatico.

“Today G [Thomas] and Chris put in good performances, stages three and four are very important and they look as though they are in good form.”

Elsewhere, Team Sky’s Wout Poels won the individual time trial at the Paris-Nice stage race.

Poels finished the hilly 18.4km fourth stage from La Fouillouse to Saint-Etienne in 25:33 minutes to beat Spaniard Marc Soler by 11 seconds.

He is now second overall, 15 seconds behind Luis Leon Sanchez.

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 result:

1. BMC 22mins 19secs

2. Mitchelton-Scott +4secs

3. Team Sky +9secs

4. Quick-Step Floors +15secs

5. Team Sunweb +25secs

6. Katusha-Alpecin +29secs

7. Bora-Hansgrohe +30secs

8. Trek-Segafredo+39secs

9. UAE Team Emirates +45secs

10. EF Education First-Drapac +45secs

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