SPORT

Tour De France Attracts Hundreds Of Thousands Spectators, After Mark Cavendish Crashes Out

06/07/2014 11:43 BST | Updated 06/07/2014 11:59 BST

Hundreds of thousands of spectators already lining the route of stage two of the Tour de France are digesting the news that British favourite Mark Cavendish is out of this year's race following his dramatic crash.

Cavendish's Omega Pharma-QuickStep team confirmed the "Manx Missile" will not be in the saddle today for the Tour's second day in Yorkshire - a 201km ride from York to Sheffield.

Yesterday's opening stage, which was watched by more than a million people, reached a spectacular climax when Cavendish came to grief almost within sight of the finish line in Harrogate - his mother's home town.

mark cavendish

Mark Cavendish speaking to the press on day two of the Tour de France, after his dramatic crash yesterday

Thousands of spectators, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron, were willing the sprint specialist on as he entered the final 300m fighting for position for his trademark last minute attack.

But he crashed as his mother, Adele Towns, watched from the stands with his step-father, Chris. The VIPs looked as shocked as the masses of cycling fans crowded around the finish line when they heard the news over the speakers.

mark cavendish

Cavendish limped over the finish line after his crash

Cavendish was left prone on the ground clutching his shoulder after colliding with fellow competitor Simon Gerrans, injuring a joint between his right shoulder and collarbone.

He later said he was "gutted" and apologised, saying the crash was his fault.

William, Kate and Harry watched the end of the race together, before presenting the jerseys to the winning riders. Earlier, Kate had started the race at Harewood House, near Leeds, when the royal party chatted to Cavendish and other British riders.

Tour De France: Leeds To Harrogate

Tour De Yorkshire

They looked shocked when the commentator announced Cavendish's fall and even more so when he limped back across the line, clearly in pain.

Only half an hour before, the royal trio had been chatting to Cavendish's mother who was a guest in the royal area.

mark cavendish

Kate Middleton reacts to Cavendish crashing

Grand Depart organisers Tdfhu2014ltd said "well over" a million people lined the streets of Yorkshire yesterday for stage one amid jubilant scenes as crowds flocked from all over the country to get a glimpse of the 198 racers passing through the county's striking scenery.

Initial estimates suggested there were 230,000 spectators in the centre of Leeds and more than 10,000 watched the riders on the steep climb over the Buttertubs pass.

Crowds have already gathered along the whole of the route of today's stage which starts at the racecourse in York before moving through the historic city centre, passing many of the city's famous landmarks.

The riders then head for the hills and some classic British climbs, including Holme Moss and Cragg Vale.

They will also tackle some less than classic ascents - such as Jenkin Road in suburban Sheffield - in a route which has been described as one of the toughest opening stages in the history of the race.

Other highlights include the cobbles of the picture-postcard High Street of Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters.

The finish line is outside Sheffield Arena, leaving the teams with easy access to the M1 and day three - the Cambridge to London stage on Monday.