Headbutt Clears Way For Tour De France Stage Win

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Mark Cavendish took today's 11th stage, thanks to some well-timed headbutts from teammate Mark Renshaw. Renshaw became the first rider kicked out of the Tour, but it was totally worth it.

Renshaw is a lead-out man for HTC-Columbia, and it's his job to make a path for Cavendish. Normally, he'd do this by positioning his bike, but in this case he was getting out-maneuvered by Julian Dean.

Mr. Renshaw, a 25-year-old Australian, created a hole for Mr. Cavendish by headbutting Julian Dean of the Garmin-Transitions team three times. Mr. Dean was squeezing the HTC-Columbia riders against the rail. Mr. Renshaw's headbutt pushed him into the middle of the pack and helped Mr. Cavendish slice through for the win.

Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-Farnese finished second and Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions third.


But the headbutt went beyond normal aggression. The two losing teams complained. As a result, Mr. Renshaw became the first rider kicked out of the Tour this year. The expulsion "was a symbolic move, I hope it will prevent dirty riding," said Matthieu Perget, a French rider who was in the back of the scrum.


And yet, it worked. Renshaw's teammate won the stage. Why wouldn't you do this every time?

Headbutting Prompts First Tour Expulsion [WSJ]

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