Mark Cavendish crashes out of Abu Dhabi Tour

Mark Cavendish's Abu Dhabi Tour ended prematurely when the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider was forced to abandon on the opening stage following an innocuous crash. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be without their race leader Mark Cavendish for the remainder of the Abu Dhabi Tour, which started on Wednesday.

In what is a massive blow for Africa's Team, Cavendish was eliminated even before racing truly got underway on stage 1 when he was involved in a crash in the neutral zone.

By all accounts, the race director's car slowed suddenly as it led the peloton out of Madinat Zayed, the subsequent reaction in the peloton saw four riders, including the 'Manx Missile', go down.

The unfortunate result was that Cavendish had to abandon the Abu Dhabi Tour as a result of the crash.

"Mark sustained a concussion and a whiplash injury after his crash today. Due to the concussion, we were not willing to risk rider safety and the call was made for Mark to stop the race," explained Team Doctor, Dr Adrian Rotunno in a press release.

Though his race is over, Cavendish looks to have escaped any serious long-term damage.

"A serious neck injury has been excluded in hospital. He currently has some concussive symptoms and neck pain, but is otherwise stable. We will monitor Mark's condition closely going forward."