Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) Defended the conspiracy that saw him ousted from second place Step 11 Of Tour de France, Claims he moved out of his line and into the ribs of Van Art only to avoid hitting an advertising bollard in the middle of the roadblock.
The race jury dropped Sagan to the back of Peloton for beating Van Ert on the shoulder in the closing meter of a stage where Caleb Ivan (Lotto Soudal) won a blanket finish.
The dismissal is a major blow to Sagan ‘s hopes of winning the point classification for the eighth time. The Slovakians lost 13 points for finishing second on stage, meaning they started with 12 points for 68 points from Sam Bennett’s (Desuning-Quickstep) green jersey.
After 51 km on stage 12, the Irishman extended his lead to 70 points.
“Yesterday was going to be a good day, but in the end, it was a day, you know. I don’t know what to say, ”Sagan said Eurosport At the beginning of stage 12 in Chuvigny.
The three-time world champion commented that he only deviated from his line-up to avoid clipping an advertising billboard that protrudes from obstacles.
“I did my line. I went from behind and saw a small space there, ”Sagan said.
“You know, I saw that the barriers were very close, but there was something in the branding between the barriers, where some poles go out 90 degrees. If I continue like that, I’m going to touch it with my handlebars, so I moved a little to the left. I did not think this was a dangerous move. I do not think so. ”
In an interview with ITV, Sagan reiterated that he had not deliberately tried to block or disrupt Van Art. After finishing fourth on stage (later upgraded to third) Belgium raised the middle finger and was fined 200CHF for the gesture.
“I have to accept that [the commissaires’ decision], ”Sagan said.
“I did my own sprint and I was never ready to stop anyone or anything. I don’t think I did that. I was struggling to survive on my own. ”
In an interview France Televisions And RTBF, Asked Sagan about Van Art’s strategy.
“After a finish like this, everyone can overreact. It is a question of emotions, ”Sagan said. “It simply came to our notice then. He is young and strong, but he needs to be a little calmer. ”
Van Art laughed when asked Sports To respond to Sagan’s comments.
“I think it’s better not to react,” he said. “Of course, I reacted to myself yesterday, but not in the right way. I admit it freely. That may not be the right start of a conversation. ”