Sport

Tour de France: Démare wins sprint as Cavendish crashes

Tour de France: Démare wins sprint as Cavendish crashes”

Green jersey favourite Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France for his part in a crash involving Mark Cavendish at the end of Stage 4.

The immediate future of Cavendish, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, remains unknown, however the Team Dimension Data rider said after the race he was "not optimistic" about his chances to continue.

Sagan managed to remain upright after the collision and had initially finished in the runners-up spot, lifting him to second in the general classification, 7sec behind Team Sky's Thomas.

Sagan had jutted out an elbow around 100 metres from the finish line of the fourth stage in Vittel, knocking Cavendish into the metal safety barriers and sending him crashing to the tarmac.

Yellow jersey holder Geraint Thomas crashed earlier in the finale but since the incident occurred within the final three kilometres, he will be credited with the same time as the victor.

The 50 points for winning also put him in contention to claim the green jersey for sprinters.

When he left for hospital, he was also wearing a sling.

"Like I said, I get on with Peter, a crash is a crash, but I'd like to know about the elbow".

However, Bora-Hansgrohe's Sagan took a second to clip his shoe back in before accelerating to outsprint Australian Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb and Ireland's Dan Martin of Quick-Step Floors. "I tried to catch him but when I caught him I saw how much was left, 400m, I said "no, it's too much", so I relaxed a bit before going again".

"The crash happened right in front of me, I had nowhere to go really", said Thomas. "Happy to get through unscathed", Thomas said.

The world time trial champion, who had hoped to win the Stage 1 time trial in Düsseldorf and sport the yellow jersey, instead started Stage 4 sitting almost 13 minutes down on the general classification.

"The guys look after me incredibly well, it's not like I'm on my own all the time", he said.

Démare crossed the line in 4 hours 53min 54sec for the 207.5-kilometres route from Mondorf-les-Bains to Vittel, securing the Française des Jeux rider's first victory in the sport's flagship event. "Winning in the Tour is the best".

Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) came home third as FDJ rider Demare, who has been in impressive form lately, had time to raise his arms in celebration before crossing the line.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.



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