Tour de France: Démare wins sprint as Cavendish crashes

"We made a decision to disqualify Peter Sagan from the 2017 Tour de France because he endangered seriously several other riders, including Mark Cavendish, in the final meters of the sprint which happened in Vittel", race jury President Philippe Marien said. Cavendish, victor of the second-most Tour de France stages in history, tried to pass Stage 3 victor Sagan, but instead, he fell into a barrier, suffering what appeared to be a shoulder injury, and is likely out of this year's Tour. "I get on with Peter and a crash is a crash, but I'd just like to know about the elbow". "If he came across it's one thing, but the elbow?"

Cavendish's team, Dimension Data, tweeted that their rider had hurt his shoulder and hand during the stage four crash.

"I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in like that", he said.

And the shoulder, there's something to do with that previous shoulder that I did in Harrogate - it's just sat backwards, he added. Sagan did not crash and finished second in the stage before being disqualified from the Tour.

Cavendish left the press for an ambulance and went to the hospital for controls. "I'll have to get it looked at".

"Apart from a few abrasions and some lacerations he's doing fine".

Peter Sagan puts Mark Cavendish into the boards at the end of Stage 4.

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"Someone touched his back wheel".

Sagan and Cavendish came together during the sprint for the Stage 4 win, with the Manx Missile trying to create space near the barriers. The first left dozens of riders on the ground, including current race leader Geraint Thomas of Team Sky.

After the crash, Sagan went over to see how Cavendish was and patted him on the back, while the British rider showed him his wounds. "Half the peloton is racing not to lose time, half the peloton is aiming for the stage".

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. "There was a crash in front of us and again I had nowhere to go. I'm delighted", Sagan said.

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 Michael Matthews was second on the stage with Dan Martin of Ireland third, just ahead of Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet in fourth.

"If there was a mistake, then you have to congratulate the jury for having the courage to punish the world champion, the big star of cycling today", said France's Arnaud Demare, who won Tuesday's stage.

  • Regina Holmes