World Champion Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the Tour de France for causing the crash that sent British rider Mark Cavendish down in the final 200m of sprinting in stage four – but his team have appealed against the decision.
The brutal crash occurred when Cavendish was lining up for the final sprint on eventual winner Arnaud Demare’s wheel, only for Sagan to drift right after reported skidding from the wheel of Andre Greipel.
Sagan then stuck out his elbow, causing Cavendish to crash into the barriers and break his shoulder as Sagan rode on to finish in second place on the stage. Cavendish has since withdrawn from the race.
In a statement from team Bora-Hansgrohe, they confirmed that a protest had been lodged, though officially a team cannot appeal the original decision.
Bora-Hansgrohe said that Sagan “stayed on his line in the sprint and could not see Cavendish on the right side.”
Part of the statement read that Sagan said: ‘“In the sprint I didn’t know that Mark Cavendish was behind me.
“He was coming from the right side, and I was trying to go on Kristoff’s wheel. Mark was coming really fast from the back and I just didn’t have time to react and to go left. He came into me and he went into the fence. When I was told after the finish that Mark had crashed, I went straight away to find out how he was doing. We are friends and colleagues in the peloton and crashes like that are never nice. I hope Mark recovers soon.”