04 July, 2017
Sagan visited the Dimension Data bus after the finish to check on Cavendish.
British sprint great Mark Cavendish demanded an explanation from Peter Sagan after he was elbowed into the barriers at the end of Tuesday's Tour de France fourth stage. 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.
A bloodied Cavendish eventually crossed the line with a bandaged hand and his arm held in tight to his chest, Dimension Data sporting director Roger Hammond saying initially that it was too early to say whether he had broken anything. "I get on with Peter, a crash is a crash, but I'd just like to know about the elbow". "On his way to the hospital for further examinations", said Dimension Data on Twitter. "To elbow somebody off the bike at that speed is just an act of violence".
Sagan, however, may find himself in hot water with the race commission and could be disqualified from the stage.
"After Richie Porte attacked I chose to go and I said to myself I was going too early", said Sagan. I was unlucky, but I managed to go again and I won.
Not everyone was eager to blame Sagan.
Sagan may have been more at fault for the crash, but this is bullshit. I was thinking 'what's going on?'. "I'd just like to speak to him about it". "He did not have enough room". "But I sprinted and my foot came out, another mistake, but I got my foot back in and I won".
Cavendish wasn't happy with the contact he received from Sagan, who he felt hit him with an extended elbow.
It was a first Tour stage win for FDJ's Demare, with Katusha-Alpecin's Alexander Kristoff third, Lotto-Soudal's Andre Greipel fourth, and local boy Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis down in fifth. Sagan later told the media he apologized "because it's not nice to crash like that". "I tried but didn't have time to react to go left".
The incident involving Cavendish was the second crash in the final three kilometers of Stage 4.
Defending champion Chris Froome moved up to second overall, 12 seconds behind his teammate a day after both crashed on a slippery corner. Unlike Cavendish, none of those riders appeared to suffer serious injuries.
"It was a hectic day", said Thomas.
"I hit the deck but I'm fine", Thomas said.
The deficit was reduced with around 70 kilometres to go, but instead of becoming quieter, the stage all of the sudden turned into an even more eventful one, as three other men jumped from the bunch and joined the leaders., but with ten kilometres remaining everything came back together.
Demare, the 2011 under-21 world champion, burst into the limelight when he won the "Monument" classic Milan-San Remo past year but he said Tuesday's victory was more special.