British rider Mark Cavendish reportedly had urine thrown on him during the Tour de France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
British rider Mark Cavendish reportedly had urine thrown "all over him" by a spectator on Wednesday during the Tour de France time trials, according to an Associated Press report.
Members of his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team said they don't know where along the 20-mile stretch of the timed trial the incident occurred. The team's press officer said he didn't see the incident first-hand but believes the report to be true, adding that the liquid on the 28-year-old Cavendish smelled like urine and it was "all over him."
The Guardian reported that Cavendish's fellow Brit, Chris Froome, who finished second on the stage, said the incident "leaves a bad taste in the mouth."
"It was really disappointing. One of the best things about our sport is that the spectators can get close to the top riders in the world and feel the excitement and the colour. It's disappointing that one individual should ruin it for Mark. He's one of the great personalities of the sport, some people love him, some hate him, but to do something disrespectful like that is sad. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth."
Cavendish's teammate, Jerome Pineau, tweeted in French shortly after the report:
"I'm ashamed when my friend Mark Cavendish tells me that he was jeered and even sprayed with urine. It's scandalous."
The tour is a free, non-ticketed event that allows spectators to often stand within a few feet of the riders as they pass by. Lance Armstrong tweeted following the incident on Wednesday that these kind of dirty tactics have been going on for a long time.