Heat is on as head-butt spoils Cavendish party

BOURG LES VALENCE, France,  (Reuters) – The heatwave  went to the riders’ heads on the Tour de France as Mark Renshaw  was kicked out of the race over a head-butting incident that  spoiled stage winner Mark Cavendish’s party yesterday. It was Cavendish’s 13th Tour victory of his career but not  his luckiest.  His HTC-Columbia team mate Renshaw led in the final stretch  when New Zealand’s Julian Dean, working for sprinter Tyler  Farrar, tried to block his way.

Australian Renshaw head-butted the Garmin Transitions rider  twice to keep him out of the way of Cavendish, who surged to his  third stage win of this Tour.

The Briton won ahead of Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi, who  took the green points jersey, while American Farrar was third.  Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck retained the overall lead with a  41-second advantage over defending champion Alberto Contador.

“Renshaw’s out. We saw the film once and it’s blatant. He  head-butted Dean twice like in a keirin race,” said Tour  technical director Jean-Francois Pescheux.“This is cycling, not fighting. Everybody could have ended  up on their backs.” Minutes after crossing the line Renshaw told reporters:  Either he (Dean) keeps turning left puts me in the barrier and I  crash, or I try to lean against him, I didn’t have another  option. It’s all about sprinting straight.”

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