World champion Sagan disqualified from Tour de France

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 5, 2017 - 17:17
  • Updated : Jul 5, 2017 - 17:17
Peter Sagan, the reigning cycling world champion, has been disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France for his role in a crash that occurred during the fourth stage of the Tour on Tuesday in Vittel, France.

The crash occurred in the stage’s final sprint when Mark Cavendish crashed into a barrier while trying to pass Sagan. Replays showed the two riders making contact and Sagan using his elbow to block Cavendish’s path. Cavendish broke his right shoulder in the crash, forcing his withdrawal from the Tour.

The crash during the sprint finish of Stage 4 of the 2017 Tour de France. (AP-Yonhap)
Sagan was initially given a penalty of 30 seconds and 80 points for sprint-blocking. However, following the conclusion of the stage, the race jury ejected Sagan, citing his “endangering” of other riders and the related rule of the UCI handbook, which allows a disciplinary committee to enforce a disqualification for “a serious fault.”

The crash also involved John Degenkolb and Ben Swift, who were unable to avoid colliding with Cavendish as he fell. Degenkolb and Swift, who were bruised in the crash, both said they planned to continue with the race.

Sagan’s team, Bora-Hansgrohe, has appealed the disqualification, but reinstatement seems unlikely, as the UCI rule indicates that disciplinary committee decisions cannot be appealed.

The fifth stage of the 2017 Tour de France was to begin Wednesday afternoon at Vittel. The exit of both Sagan and Cavendish means an open field for the green jersey worn by the Tour’s top sprinter, which has been won the last five years (2012-2016) by Sagan and held on multiple occasions by Cavendish, who won in 2011 and finished second three times -- 2009, 2010 and 2013.

By Alex Park / Intern reporter