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Watch: Tour de France Stage 4 highlights – Cavendish down, Sagan out

Joseph Delves
4 Jul 2017

Controversial sprint sees Sagan ejected from the race, Cavendish limping home, and Démare victorious

Summary - Stage 4 - Tour de France 2017 by tourdefrance_en

After a slow day, the last few hundred metres of Stage 4 proved both controversial and spectacular.

Arnaud Démare’s (FDJ) win was instantly overshadowed by the repercussions of a coming together between Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Appearing to elbow Cavendish into the barriers, Sagan now finds himself disqualified from the race.

Summary - Stage 4 - Tour de France 2017 by tourdefrance_en

Initially an uneventful day, all the stage’s action was crowded into its final few fateful minutes. With the day's break having been reeled in with around 10 kilometres to go, the sprint teams began their usual jostling for position.

However passing through a series of turns with the flamme rouge just ahead of them, a crash in the middle of the pack brought down much of the field.

Race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and green jersey Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step) were held up, although both escaped injury.

However that was just the start of the day’s drama, with the sprint between the remaining riders including André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) as well as Cavendish, Sagan and Démare passing off in controversial fashion. 

With Greipel being led out by a team mate, Cavendish looked in a good position, sitting sixth, behind Démare and Sagan.

As Démare attempted to jump around Sagan, Cavendish instantly followed. With the riders swinging across the road, Sagan leapt after Démare, perhaps not realising that the space into which he intended to move was occupied by Cavendish.

Sagan went elbow first into Cavendish and sent him crashing into the barriers. The incident also took down chasing riders Degenkolb and Ben Swift (UAE-Emirates), both of whom appeared unhurt, while Démare held on to cross the line first, ahead of Sagan.

Leaving the scene for hospital with his arm in a sling, it’s not yet clear if Cavendish will continue the race tomorrow.

Sagan was almost instantly relegated by 30 seconds on today's stage results, suggesting the race organisers instantly blamed him for the crash. To his credit Sagan quickly sought out Cavendish to speak directly with him. 

However with Twitter erupting at Sagan’s riding, the race organisers used the platform to announce Sagan's complete disqualification an hour and a half later.  

Summary - Stage 4 Finish - Tour de France 2017 by tourdefrance_en