Peter Sagan has been forced to withdraw from the Vuelta a Espana after a collision with a support motorcycle on stage eight of the race left him with some serious injuries.
The Tinkoff-Saxo rider collided with the motorbike kilometres from the end of the stage to Murcia, a stage which he was favourite to win, and was subsequently fined for abusive language and ‘damaging the image of cycling’ after kicking out at the “reckless auxiliary motorbike” involved.
“I find it unacceptable that a motorbike tries to weave its way into the group at such high speed…”
A team statement has said that Sagan suffered first and second degree burns on the left side of his body, from the hip to the lower leg, in the crash, and has a contusion on his left forearm.
The team doctor and the sport directors at the Vuelta decided that the Slovakian could now not safely continue on to the end of the race, and according to the BBC, Tinkoff-Saxo have since threatened legal action.
The video below was taken directly after the incident, and shows an infuriated Sagan arguing with members of the neutral service team and kicking out at both the motorbike and his own road bike. Sagan was later fined 300 Swiss Francs for his actions.
“I didn’t even hear the motorbike coming,” said Sagan of the incident. “I find it unacceptable that a motorbike tries to weave its way into the group at such high speed.
“They accelerate and try to sneak in when they see an empty space. However, they don’t take into consideration that a rider might fall in front of them or change direction. They go extremely fast and the difference of speed compared to the riders is enormous.
“Last but not least, I go back to the team hotel and I read I was fined 300 francs for insults and threats as well as behaviour that damages the image of cycling. I will obviously pay it but I consider it unjust.”