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Peter Sagan disqualified from Tour de France after Stage 4 crash


Cyclist Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France after pushing fellow contestant Mark Cavendish into the crash barriers just 120 metres from the finish line of Stage four of the competition.

However, if you watch the whole sprint, it becomes clear that Sagan flicked his elbow out to balance himself after Cavendish made contact with him from behind.

Sagan was seeking in this year's Tour to tie the record of six green jersey titles for the best sprinter of the three-week event.

Coming into the final metres of the stage, Sagan had swung across the road in pursuit of eventual victor Arnaud Démare (FDJ), apparently not realising Cavendish was following, and forcing him into the barrier.

Britain's Geraint Thomas of Team Sky finished two seconds off the pace, but retained the leader's yellow jersey as the main overall favorites finished together. "I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that", Cavendish said.

I don't know if I've snapped the fake ligament in or what - I'm going to go and get it looked at.

In all the furore of another bunch pile-up, French champion Demare's achievement of becoming the first Frenchman to win a Tour stage in a sprint finish since 2006 was nearly lost. "I'd just like to speak to him about it".

"The crash happened right in front of me, I had nowhere to go really", said Thomas.

France Porte Froome
Chris Froome right and Australia’s Richie Porte grimace in the last meters of the fifth stage of the Tour de France

For his part, Sagan - who won Stage 3 at Longwy on Monday - had apologised for his actions but claimed he was not at fault. "Happy to get through unscathed", Thomas said.

He was coming from behind, I did not have time to react and go left, he said.

Demare clocked almost five hours over the largely flat 207.5-kilometer (129-mile) route, which started and finished in two spa towns, Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg and Vittel in France.

In all the furore of another bunch pile-up, French champion Demare's achievement of becoming the first Frenchman to win a Tour stage in a sprint finish since 2006 was nearly lost.

Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) came home third, but moved up to second after Sagan's expulsion, as FDJ rider Demare, who has been in impressive form lately, had time to raise his arms in celebration before crossing the line.

Australian Richie Porte, one of the top contenders, launched an attack with about 700m left in the final ascent - a 1.6km climb at a gradient of 5.8 percent on the Cote des Religieuses - but it was too soon.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.


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