World Champion Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the Tour de France after he caused British cyclist Mark Cavendish to crash at the end of the fourth stage in Vittel.
Cavendish came down at full speed within a hundred metres of the finish line after being elbowed off balance by Sagan, who finished second.
The Slovak was initially given a 30-second penalty and docked 80 points in the green jersey competition. But after video analysis the judges convened a press conference to annouce that the five-time green jersey winner would be sent home.
“We’ve decided to disqualify Peter Sagan from the Tour de France 2017 after the tumultuous sprint, here in Vittel,” an official from the race jury announced.
“He endangered multiple riders, Mark Cavendish and others who were implicated in the crash, in the final meters of the sprint.”
“We applied article 12.104, irregular sprints, in which case commissaires are allowed to enforce a judgement to disqualify a rider and amend a fine.”
Cavendish, who has 30 Tour stage wins to his name, was trying to race up along the safety barrier on the right-hand side of the road.
Speaking after he had crossed the line and treated by medics, the Data Dimension rider said: “I get on with Peter well but I’d just like to know about the elbow, really.”
German John Degenkolb, the 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion, also crashed as he ran into Cavendish on the ground.