Published: Wed, July 05, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Sagan overpowers rivals, glitch to win third stage

Sagan overpowers rivals, glitch to win third stage

Cavendish was taken to hospital with hand and shoulder injuries. "But I sprinted and my foot came out, another mistake, but I got my foot back in and I won".

"[I was] following Démare around and just Sagan came over", said Cavendish.

Cavendish went to hospital with his right arm in a sling and his Dimension Data team said that it is unsure he can continue in the Tour de France on stage five. I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that, ' Cavendish said in comments reported by The Guardian. "I don't know if I snapped it". The UCI penalized Sagan for the incident, initially docking him 30 seconds and officially bumping him back to 115th place on the stage. "I definitely need stitches in this finger, it's bleeding a lot", he said.

The race's yellow jersey holder, Britain's Geraint Thomas, hit the deck in a separate pile-up near the end, but as the incident occurred within the final three kilometers he will be credited with the same time as the victor. "When I had the pedal problem I wondered what happened, some more bad luck, but I had no time to think and I went again", Sagan said.

Arnaud Demare became the first French stage victor of this year's Tour, crossing the line first in Vittel ahead of Sagan and Norway's Alexander Kristoff, but his achievement was overshadowed by the two serious crashes on the final sprint.

Thomas finished eighth, two seconds behind Sagan, with Chris Froome ninth.

"The shoulder", Cavendish, 32, told reporters, referencing the right shoulder, on which he's had surgery to replace a ligament.

When asked if he accepted the blame, Sagan said, "It's the sprint, I just didn't know that Mark was behind me". His win allowed him to claim the sprinters' green jersey from German Marcel Kittel, victor of Sunday's second stage but who was held up by the first crash and unable to contest the sprint.

Unable to react, Germany's John Degenkolb (Trek Segafredo) and Britain's Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) both ploughed into Cavendish's prone body before flying over their handlebars.

The 27-year-old Slovak, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, powered over the line in front of Australia's Michael Matthews, with Ireland's Dan Martin third.

He landed heavily on the right shoulder he injured when crashing out of the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France in English town Harrogate.

Wednesday's fifth stage should see the top guns in action as the 160.5-km ride from Vittel will finishup La Planche des Belles Filles, a lung-busting 5.9-km climb at an average gradient of 8.5 percent.

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