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Sagan disqualified from Tour for Cavendish 'elbow'


Marien said they were applying UCI race rules that allow them to disqualify riders in "serious cases".

Sagan had jutted out an elbow around 100 metres from the finish line of the fourth stage in Vittel, knocking Cavendish into the metal safety barriers and sending him crashing to the tarmac.

The 30-time Tour stage victor was treated by medical staff before crossing the finish line with a bloodied and bandaged hand. "I get on with Peter well, but I don't get. if he came across is one thing, but the elbow, I am not a fan of him putting his elbow in like that".

Sagan claimed he did not have time to react as Cavendish made an attempt to come past him and went to his rival's team bus to apologise afterwards.

Cavendish stated that it would be for the jury to decide whether anything further would come of it, while Dimension Data sports director Roger Hammond said he was "furious" and "that everyone on this team has a right to be angry".

"At the end I did unclip, I don't know why".

Remarkably, Sagan won the stage even though his right foot slipped off the pedal as he launched into the final sprint 300m from the finish line in Longwy.

By that point, Julien Vermote was at the front of the bunch, setting the pace behind the day's six escapees and permanently controlling the gap, which didn't go beyond three minutes: Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Romain Sicard (Direct Energie).

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Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan.

In the peloton, a crash took out several riders, including the yellow jersey bearer, Geraint Thomas. Thomas finished eighth, two seconds behind Sagan, with Chris Froome ninth.

When asked if he accepted the blame, Sagan said, "It's the sprint, I just didn't know that Mark was behind me".

The stage was won by French champion Arnaud Demare.

The crash occurred in the final 200 metres of Tuesday's 207.5-kilometer stage, from Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg, to Vittel, France.

However, Bora-Hansgrohe's Sagan took a second to clip his shoe back in before accelerating to outsprint Australian Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb and Ireland's Dan Martin of Quick-Step Floors.

"The guys look after me incredibly well, it's not like I'm on my own all the time", he said.

The Planche des Belles Filles climb isn't long but it's a brute, rising over 1,000 meters in 5.9km and with a stretch of 20 percent grade right at the top.

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