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Tour de France Stage 11 turns into 'gladiator arena'

Tour de France Stage 11 finished in a wild sprint, with Mark Cavendish claiming his third stage win. But his HTC-Columbia teammate was disqualified for head-butting another rider.

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Mark Cavendish of Britain crosses the finish line to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 184.5 kilometers (114.6 miles) with start in Sisteron and finish in Bourg-les-Valences, France, Thursday, ahead of Alessandro Petacchi of Italy, second place, and Tyler Farrar of the US, far right and third place.

Peter Dejong/AP

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Mark Cavendish today won his third stage of this year’s Tour de France, but lost a valuable HTC-Columbia teammate in the process.

Race organizers disqualified Australian Mark Renshaw after he head-butted Garmin-Transitions’ rider Julian Dean three times during last 200 meters of Stage 11’s wild sprint finish.

Renshaw is out. We watched the film once and it was blatant. He head-butted Dean like in a keirin race," said race director Jean-François Pescheux, referring to a track cycling event in which a pack of riders sprints for the finish.

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After the head-butts, Renshaw came off of his line and forced another Garmin-Transitions’ cyclist, sprinter Tyler Farrar, into the barriers lining the course as Cavendish pushed ahead to the finish line.

“It’s not normal – he lets [Cavendish] off and then tries to crash everyone,” Farrar said, sitting on his bike after the race. “I’m all for riding fast sprints but you have to think of everyone’s safety.”

What Renshaw and Dean were supposed to do

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