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by Neal Rogers
July 6, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Aru claims Stage 5 victory at Tour de France, Froome into yellow; Lotta Lepistö wins hot and hard-fought Stage 6 at Giro Rosa; Viviani takes second sprint win in Austria, Vanmarcke remains in GC lead; Porte on first Tour de France summit: ‘I expected a little more, but there’s a long way to go’; Dan Martin ‘satisfied, very confident’ after moving into fourth on GC at Tour de France; Sagan heads home as UCI jury holds firm on Tour de France expulsion; Riders and managers react to Sagan’s Tour de France expulsion; Guardian: ‘Something mesmeric’ about Dave Brailsford’s ‘total lack of regret’; Route for 20th edition of Santos Tour Down Under announced, with return to Port Adelaide; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 5 highlights; Video: Puppy on a bike ride thinks it’s pedaling.
In the hours after Peter Sagan’s expulsion from the Tour de France was confirmed, the mood toward Sagan appeared to shift. Riders, fans and the media expressed their shock at the decision. The consensus seemed to be that a relegation from second place and loss of points was a fair result, but expulsion from the race was not.
Part of the reason for that shift in opinion was the availability of slow-motion video, which enabled a much closer look at the timing of the crash. As can be seen on close watching, Sagan’s elbow appears not to have made contact with Cavendish. Furthermore, the movement may have been a reaction to the Briton’s brake hood snagging under Sagan’s forearm.
The overhead video suggests that Sagan’s move to the right was in reaction to a swerve in that direction by Démare, who had come around him from behind and on that side. In seeking to track the Frenchman as he launched his sprint, Sagan encroached into the gap that Cavendish had been aiming for, thus closing the door.
On Wednesday morning, just two hours before the start of stage 5, Sagan spoke outside his team hotel. He offered a short statement, essentially confirming that he would not be able to continue in the race.
“I can just accept the decision but for sure I do not agree with it – I don’t think I did something wrong in the sprint,” he said. “It is very bad that Mark fell down. It is important that he can recover well. I am sorry for that. It was – how you see already on the internet – it was a crazy sprint. It was not the first one like that and it is not the last one like that. I wish Mark to recover well and that is it.”
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