Peter Sagan was fined 1,000 Swiss francs and penalized 50 UCI points for what the race jury at the Giro d’Italia called “intimidation” and “improper conduct against other riders” on Thursday’s stage 18.
The specific actions that earned Sagan such a punishment were not cited in the communiqué from the jury, but Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team spent a long stretch at the front of the pack in the early goings of the stage as riders tried to get clear to form the day’s break. Sagan entered the stage with a 22-point lead over Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) and a 25-point lead over Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) in the points classification, making the intermediate sprint and the stage itself potentially crucial in the battle for maglia ciclamino.
The break that did eventually escape did not feature any major threats to Sagan’s hold on the points jersey, and as it began to pull away, Sagan and his teammate Daniel Oss slowed the pace at the front. That break would stay clear, with Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First-Nippo) taking the victory on the day, and none of Sagan’s rivals for the maglia ciclamino came any closer in the points standings.
After the stage, Sagan acknowledged the importance of the day but did not address the fine.
“Today was an important stage and the key was not to lose points for the ciclamino jersey,” he said. “We kept under control the sprinters that were close in the points classification and held on to the ciclamino. On Friday and Saturday, we have two hard mountain stages.”