Tour de France 2017, stage four

05 July, 2017, 00:11 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Peter Sagan salutes after throwing to the line for the win            
    
              
     
     
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"We made a decision to disqualify Peter Sagan from the 2017 Tour de France because he endangered seriously several other riders, including Mark Cavendish, in the final meters of the sprint which happened in Vittel", race jury President Philippe Marien said.

Slovakian Sagan elbowed Cavendish off balance as the Briton was trying to force his way between him and the safety barrier, and Cavendish was sent crashing heavily.

Cavendish, 31, was following the wheel of eventual stage victor Arnaud Demare of France when Sagan jutted out an elbow, knocking the Briton into the barriers where he came crashing down to the ground.

Race jury president Philippe Marien of the UCI says, "We have chose to disqualify Peter Sagan from the 2017 Tour de France after the tumultuous sprint here in Vittel, where he endangered several riders, including Mark Cavendish and others who involved in the crash".

Sagan's disqualification came just one day after he was twirling his fingers and celebrating victory.

"I get on well with Peter and a crash is a crash but I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in", the 32-year-old was reported as saying by BBC Sport after the race, with his right arm in a sling. The Slovak did not allow him to pass and appeared to use his elbow to force Cavendish wide, with the latter refusing to let up and eventually crashing.

Then Cavendish fell hard on his right shoulder just before the finish line.

Demare took the green jersey for the points classification and is now the favorite to take it to Paris, a feat Sagan was looking to achieve for a record-equalling sixth time.


After the crash, Sagan went over to see how Cavendish was and patted him on the back, while the British rider showed him his wounds.

Australia's Michael Matthews was in the bunch finish as well and finished the stage in seventh place.

Unable to react, Germany's John Degenkolb (Trek Segafredo) and Britain's Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) both ploughed into Cavendish's prone body before flying over their handlebars.

Race leader Geraint Thomas was also taken down in a separate crash in the final kilometre of the 207.5km stage from Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel. "I didn't know Mark was behind me".

American Nathan Brown, who was part of the day's breakaway, took enough points over the five climbs on the day to snatch the polkadot jersey for the king of the mountains from his teammate and compatriot Taylor Phinney.

Defending champion Froome was held up by Thomas' crash but did not go down. "There was a crash in front of us and again I had nowhere to go".

Eurosport is the home of the Tour de France.

German Marcel Kittel still has that ahead of Tuesday's flat fourth stage that will favour the pure sprinters.

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