Etixx-QuickStep boss unhappy with Cavendish after Stage 2 sprint
Mark Cavendish experienced further Tour de France disappointment as Chris Froome struck a blow in the race for the yellow jersey ahead of Monday's third stage in Belgium.
A stormy and fractious 166-kilometres second stage from Utrecht to Zeeland ended with Cavendish fourth behind Andre Greipel and blaming his Etixx-QuickStep team-mates for his failure to win a 26th Tour stage of his career.
A year to the day since Cavendish crashed out of the Tour in his mother's hometown of Harrogate, the 30-year-old Manxman pointed the finger at leadout man Mark Renshaw for launching his sprint too early, with 300m to go.
Greipel won ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) claimed third and with it the bonus seconds which saw the Swiss take the race leader's yellow jersey ahead of Tony Martin.
Had Cavendish held on for third his Etixx-QuickStep team would have won the stage, claimed the points leader's green jersey and the maillot jaune.
Cavendish, who would have preferred to hit the front with 200m to go, said: "I think Mark went too early and kind of left me hanging. We died.
"The day Cancellara beats me in a sprint I've gone too long. I've gassed it. It's disappointing, Tony's disappointed."
There could be major repercussions for Cavendish, who is out of contract with the Belgian squad at the end of the year.
Etixx-QuickStep team boss Patrick Lefevre said: "Cavendish stopped sprinting and this costs Tony the jersey.
"I am not happy at all. Probably this was our last chance to take the yellow jersey."