Sagan suffers crash on high-speed descent, finishes Stage 17

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Tour de France green jersey wearer Peter Sagan had a high-speed crash in the Pyrenees Wednesday, but finished Stage 17 to Saint-Lary-Soulan 26 minutes behind winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider, who has won three stages at this Tour and has the green jersey mathematically locked up, crashed on the descent of Col de Val Louron-Azet, the second of three climbs on the short 65km stage.

With his jersey and shorts shredded, his right elbow and hip bloodied, Sagan shook out his legs as he crossed the line flanked by teammates Marcus Burghardt and Maciej Bodnar. Video of him walking to the podium presentation showed the back of his jersey was also shredded.

After the stage, the Slovakian star was taken by his team to a local hospital for a full examination.

Sagan later posted on Facebook that he had not broken any bones and intended to continue the Tour, writing, “That was a hard crash but, fortunately, I haven’t broken anything and I feel confident about the last four stages of Le Tour de France.”

Sagan’s crash was notable for how rarely he hits the ground. Over his nine-year pro career, only three significant crashes come to mind for the rider regarded as perhaps the best bike handler in the peloton. The first came at the 2009 Tour Down Under, when he was 19, requiring 19 stitches; the second came at the 2015 Vuelta a España, when he was hit by neutral service motorbike, causing him second degree burns and forcing him to abandon; and at the 2017 Ronde van Vlaanderen, when he tangled up with a spectator’s jacket on the Oude Kwaremont, hit the cobblestones, and finished 27th.

Sagan won the green jersey in each of his first five Tours, from 2012 through 2016, and holds the record for the most days spent in the green jersey, at 102. He was disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France, which ended his goal of equaling Erik Zabel’s record of six straight green jerseys, won between 1996 through 2001.

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