Cyclist Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France after pushing fellow contestant Mark Cavendish into the crash barriers just 120 metres from the finish line of Stage four of the competition.
Video footage from the race shows Sagan cycling towards Cavendish before edging in front of him and nudging him with his elbow causing him to collide with the barriers.
A gasp of shock can then be heard coming from one commentator as Cavendish is seen hitting the barrier and then crashing onto the road and into the path of other oncoming racers.
The crash, which happened as contestants sprinted into Vittel, left Cavendish and his bike sprawled on the road with other cyclists swerving to try and avoid hitting him.
Immediately after the crash Cavendish told reporters that he got on well with Sagan but he didn’t get why he elbowed him, he said: “If he came across that’s one thing, but the elbow I’m not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that.”
Sagan, who has since apologised to Cavendish, said: “Mark was coming pretty fast from the back. I tried but didn’t have time to react to go left. He came to me and I had to defend.”
After the race Cavendish was taken to hospital for tests on his right shoulder and hand where initial x-rays found no broken bones, leaving open the possibility he will be on the start line when Stage five begins on Wednesday.
When asked about his chances of continuing in the race, Cavendish said: “In terms of pain, I’ve done my shoulder twice before and I’m in more pain now than I was for one of my shoulders, so that doesn’t make me too optimistic just on feeling.
“But I’m not a doctor so if I can’t make it work I’ll see. But I’m in a little bit of pain right now, I’ve got no movement.”
Slovakian cyclist Sagan who was initially docked 30 seconds for his role in the crash has now been disqualified from the competition after the race board ruled he had “endangered some of his colleagues seriously in the final metres of the sprint”.