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Peter Sagan apologized after elbowing Mark Cavendish, which precipitated a crash and fractured Cavendish’s shoulder blade.
USA TODAY Sports activities

VITTEL, France (AP) — British rider Mark Cavendish has counseled the “braveness” of Tour de France jurors for disqualifying world champion Peter Sagan for a horrific crash that took each of them out of the race on Tuesday.

Talking Wednesday, earlier than the Tour set off with out him from the spa city of Vittel on Stage 5, Cavendish mentioned his quick concern after he hit the deck was a profusely bleeding finger on his proper hand.

“There was only a puddle of blood on the ground. I believed, ‘I will bleed to dying right here.’ However my teammates had been round and so they helped me to my toes,” he mentioned.

The winner of 30 Tour phases in his stellar profession was later recognized with a damaged proper shoulder blade and withdrew from the race. Sagan, who appeared to elbow Cavendish earlier than he fell at excessive pace, stayed on his bike however was disqualified for endangering Cavendish and different riders within the dash end at Vittel.

Cavendish mentioned: “It takes plenty of braveness … to eradicate the world champion from the Tour de France.”

Cavendish mentioned he bore no arduous emotions towards Sagan and that his actions did not seem malicious. He confused that they’re good associates and mentioned Sagan referred to as him Tuesday night whereas he was being examined in hospital.

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Sagan’s rationalization for extending his proper elbow into Cavendish’s path — because the Briton was dashing up alongside the Slovak, shaving the boundaries — was that he was simply making an attempt to remain upright.

“He mentioned it was conserving himself balanced, so it was good to know. He mentioned he did not understand it was me arising,” Cavendish mentioned. “It was the elbow which I mentioned I used to be confused about. I spoke to Peter about that. Whether or not or not, it was intentional, it would not look nice.”

Cavendish dismissed options that he was making an attempt to squeeze into an area that was too small.

“I do know what sort of gaps I can match via,” he mentioned.

Cavendish praised Sagan for instantly coming to his workforce bus after the crash to apologize.

“It was an honorable factor to see Peter there on the bus, already come to apologize,” he mentioned. “It exhibits our relationship, exhibits the person he’s and I actually recognize that greater than something.”

Nevertheless, he additionally counseled the jurors for his or her determination to disqualify Sagan, calling them “among the many most skilled jury that I’ve ever witnessed on the Tour de France.”

“It is simply unhappy that we’ll each be out of the Tour de France,” Cavendish mentioned of Sagan and himself. “We have spoken, we’re superb.”

The Tour race director, Thierry Gouvenou, advised The Related Press that he supported the jury’s disqualification of Sagan. He mentioned Sagan “additionally was at fault” in a primary crash that took down greater than a dozen riders within the ultimate stretch Tuesday, earlier than the crash that worn out Cavendish and others within the ending dash.

“In the end, there aren’t any attenuating circumstances,” Gouvenou mentioned. “I feel they made a good selection.”

“All of us complain in regards to the crashes within the first week of the Tour. It will get to the purpose the place the riders simply should respect one another.”

PHOTOS: Better of the 2017 Tour de France

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