VITTEL, France (Reuters) - Mark Cavendish demanded explanations from Peter Sagan after the world champion sent him crashing to the tarmac in a hectic fourth stage finale on Tuesday.
The Briton had his wrist and shoulder checked by medics after hitting the deck at over 60 kph in the final sprint, when Sagan elbowed him off balance as the Manxman was trying to force his way between his rival and the barrier.
“I get on with Peter well, but I don’t get ... if he came across it’s one thing, but the elbow...,” said Cavendish, who was wearing a sling. “I’m not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that. A crash is a crash. I’d just like to know about the elbow, really. I’d just like to speak to him about it.”
Sagan said that he had apologised to Cavendish, whose Dimension Data team bus was surrounded by dozens of fans and reporters.
The Slovak was docked 80 points in the classification for the green jersey and lost his second place in the stage, also receiving a 30-second penalty from the race jury.
In 2010, then Cavendish lead-out man Mark Renshaw of Australia was kicked out of the race for headbutting New Zealand’s Julian Dean in a sprint.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson