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December 15, 2017
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  • DaveRides

    Very sad day for the sport.

    There need to be some tough questions asked of Brian Cookson, namely:
    1. if commissaires’ decisions are final, why was Team Dimension Data allowed to appeal the decision to relegate Sagan?
    2. why was the same extraordinary latitude not offered to Bora-Hansgrohe?
    3. why was Demare not penalised for his irregular sprint, considering the teams were allegedly told every sprint would be tightly scrutinised?
    4. did he have any contact with his son Oliver (an employee of Team Dimension Data) during the last 24 hours?

    • jules

      the decision was made by the same guy who invited all the retired French dopers to Dusseldorf but not Der Kaiser

      • DaveRides

        Was that really the commissaire (or whoever else at the UCI who intervened on DDD’s behalf) who did that to Ullrich?

        • Will

          I believe Jules is joking about the bias towards French riders by the UCI.

        • jules

          nah :)

          • DaveRides

            Oh, good.

            I was thinking that it would have been rather surprising if even any of the French dopers turned up for the party after getting an invitation from a little Napoleon wearing a UCI blazer rather than the Race Director of the Tour de France :)

    • ebbe

      Regarding your 3rd question, a possible interpretation is: Demare did change his line, but the involved rider behind him (Bouhanni) still had room to avoid a crash. Sagan changed his line, but the involved rider behind him (Cavendish – actually already half way next to him at that point) did not have this room, and thus was forced to either hit Sagan or to hit the barriers (he ended up doing both, in that order). For the jury, it appears, the Demare case does not count as “endangering a fellow riders” and the Sagan case does.

      It also appears the crash a bit earlier, where Sagan was also involved, was added to the equation after the initial decision, which lead to the second decision. To my view, Sagan clearly wasn’t at fault in that incident though.

      Not saying I neccesarily agree with such an interpretation. But it’s a possible interpretation that would follow the rules. The rules clearly mention ‘endangering a fellow rider as a result of deviating from the line’ as an infraction.

  • Frank Zgoznik

    What a poor decision. The gap was too narrow for Cav in the first place, Sagan bends his left knee out and lifts his elbow in order to maintain his balance –
    but only after Cav bounces off Sagan’s rear wheel. The commissaires made a mistake. The footage is obvious to me.

    • Will

      They penalised him for drastically changing his line during a sprint and endangering fellow riders. They said they would be tough on sprinters at the start.

      Whether Cav went down because of Sagan’s elbow or because of Sagan cutting him up doesn’t matter. It’s the endangerment that counts.

      • DaveRides

        Some sprinters, at least.

        • Will

          True, Demare took a terrible line between Bouhani and Kristoff for no reason and nearly caused a terrible crash unless Bouhani had braked.

      • Paper Back Rider

        No, Will, that is incorrect: that would only be enough to relegate him for the stage to last place, and take his points for the stage. To DQ someone from the race requires evidence that they intentionally and maliciously caused someone harm, or to crash. Those are the rules. It is very obvious based on the video, and based on character, that there was no intent. There is no evidence of intent at all.

        • Will

          No Paper Back Rider, you’re incorrect.

          I was talking about penalties in general not DQ. Please read comments carefully before being so patronising.

          As for it being malicious or intentional, that’s not the case. As UCI Jury president Philippe Marien said, “it’s about the act that a rider made.”

          That there is no evidence of intent does not matter.

          • Paper Back Rider

            All acts have intention, so that statement is meaningless. That the UCI DQ’d Sagan means that they are unequivocally stating that Sagan’s act caused Cavendish to crash. It clearly did not. Their decision was a mistake. The harshness of the DQ also implies some intention, otherwise it would have been a lesser penalty. Sagan’s act, and his intention, was to stay upright after Cavendish ran into him. The UCI obviously made this decision too quickly, and are now making excuses, rather than admitting their mistake.

            • Will

              Not all acts have intention (such as sleepwalkers), and not all acts have the intention for the outcome. If someone throws a rock at a cat but breaks a window instead it cannot be said that they had intention to break the window.

              You also cannot assume that the UCI are implying intention. There is no evidence to back this up and you might as well say that the UCI are implying that the moon landings were faked.

              Sagan’s act of changing his line undeniably caused Cavendish to crash. Sprints are messy, but had he not gone for Demare’s wheel then the crash wouldn’t have happened.

              I don’t think that Sagan should have been DQ’d for this, and I think that there is a big problem with lack of transparency and consistency when it comes to the UCI penalty process.

              But your attempts to justify Sagan’s actions are flawed.

              • Paper Back Rider

                When It was explained by the NBC commentators they cited rules stating that a more severe penalty will result from an act with malicious intention. And in a sprint that makes me think of a serious head butt or something. From watching the video of the Sagan & Cavendish interaction in slow motion, Sagan changes his line very little when Cavendish is near him, and that is because he has too from people on his left moving into him, and he does not change it very much, he basically stays parallel to the barrier. Then Cavendish hits him from behind, when he should have put on the brakes, and at that point Sagan is in the act of balancing himself. Sagan should not have even been relegated. You cannot tell this except from the slow motion video. In full speed it looks much more like everyone thought at first. It is hard to put this into perspective because Cavendish got so injured, and looked so pathetic afterwards, but he was the aggressor in the situation. Emotions should stay out of a judgement call like this, and they obviously did not. A good rule would be to force a time frame on the officials for such a severe penalty, like at least 5 hours or something. In the case of the DQ the officials were also supposed to give Sagan a chance to give his side of the story and they did not.

                • Will

                  Who cares what the NBC commentators say. The rule that Sagan was penalised under is article 12.1.040/10.2.2 which is irregular sprint. They could also have penalised him for 12.1.040/10.2.1 which is deviating from selected lane/endangering other riders.

                  Sagan changes his line massively in the sprint. He starts on Griepel’s wheel, he then moves onto Bouhani’s wheel before trying to get on Demare’s. He doesn’t have anyone on his left as he move’s across to his right. I don’t know why you’re so blinkered on this, but your attempt’s to justify his actions are lacking any basis in reality.

                  This isn’t a case of perspective. I don’t agree that he should have been DQ’d but his actions were dangerous and should be penalised. Any rider should have been penalised for taking such erratic manoeuvres that endanger other riders.

                  The issues around the UCI jury are a separate matter and are more of an issue with lack of transparency and accountability in the UCI in general.

  • Calvino Hobb

    What a joke!! The crash was caused by:
    1) Sagan changed his line
    2) Cav went for a gap that wasn’t there.

    Both actions happen on every sprint, and this is the first time UCI has taken such extreme measures. Why wasn’t Cav DQ for constant head-butting? Why isn’t Demare DQ for changing his line? Why isn’t Bouhani DQ for constant punching?

  • Cruz er

    This is the backwater, ignorant decision of a jury that doesn’t know
    much about bike racing, ironically, judging the largest cycle race in
    the world.

    This is such a farce. Poor judgement sends Sagan home and the Tour will be much less interesting for it.
    Demare, if anyone, should have been relegated.
    No one deserved to be kicked out of the Tour.

    • Paper Back Rider

      Yeah, this hurts the TdF way more than it hurts Sagan.

  • Burgrat

    The jury got it wrong. I was hoping they would re-evaluate and just penalize him time and Green jersey points, but no such luck. The Tour will not be as fun to watch now.

  • Bones

    Wrong decision, Cav was going down before the elbow comes out.

  • uomodelghiaccio

    Cavendish is known for his aggressive and risky behavior.
    Sagen is know for his bike handling skills and easy going nature.
    Demare swung wildly, much more than anyone else.

    Sagen shifted to the right along with everyone else which reduced the space that Cavendish wanted.
    Cavendish way trying to squeeze into a space where there was zero room.
    Notice that Cavendish’s foot was off the pedal before the elbow was raised.
    Additionally Cavendish pressed into Sagan before the elbow as well.

    To me it looks like Sagan was simply trying to prevent falling.
    The elbow was a defensive not offensive maneuver and probably more reactionary that deliberate.
    Sagen did shift his line, but so did everyone else and none more that Demare.

    The UCI Jury made a snap decision, without a full analysis of the footage.
    There may be a conflict of interest with the UCI President and Son (Team Dimension Data).
    However I feel that the UCI has an grudge against Peter Sagen.
    The UCI seems completely ignorant that it needs more easy going riders like Peter Sagen.
    The ruling is a black mark against fairness and only hurts professional cycling.

  • ridein

    IMHO blame should be distributed between Demare, Cavendish and Sagan. Demare was more than a bit irregular in his approach to the line. Cavendish was going for a hole that just wasn’t there and he paid a heavy price by going home early with injuries. Maybe he could’ve got another win in his assault on Eddy’s TdF stage win record. Sagan’s own green jersey record wins will grow I’m sure before his retirement, but now they just won’t be consecutive wins. The only good thing to come from this is Peter made peace with Mark as soon as possible. I believe the UCI’s initial reaction was right on their first punishment. How often can you say that?

  • pedr09

    It can’t be anything but a political decision. Hysterical DD team management, including Cookson’s son, lobbying the jury. A recipe for a fair outcome? Not.

    • milkod2001

      You are right. Sagan was and he is a fair player. If he is American ,English or German they will never kick him out from race.It looks to me that they just wanted to get rid of him .Coming from small Slovakia ,what he can do about it ,they are powerful.
      But people are not stupid. And Peter is a rock , he will win again .

  • Paper Back Rider

    It can be clearly seen in the video that Sagan moves his elbow forward, away from Cavendish, not into him, and this is after Cavendish makes first contact by running into Sagan. This extremely significant, as it means that Sagan had no intent, nor did he, hit Cavendish with his elbow. The UCI’s decision is rediculous, personal, political, and very bad for the sport.

  • burim alimi

    Poor Cav, but do we all remember he gave a shoulder also in the 2013 TDF? Its never nice, not much of a penalty was given to him as a comparison to this incident apart from urine being thrown at him from various crowd members.

    Hope Cav recovers quickly and Sagan can come back bigger and better (Thought he was in some ripping form for this years TDF).

    Thanks for all your TDF content thus far CT. Loving it

December 15, 2017
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