Tour de France 2017, stage four

Tour de France 2017 – Dan Martin 3rd on Stage 3 and climbs to 15th on General Classification

"We've made a decision to disqualify Peter Sagan from the Tour de France 2017 as he endangered some of his colleagues seriously in the final metres of the sprint which happened in Vittel", said the president of the race commission Philippe Marien. Cavendish slammed into the barriers and two other riders plowed over the British sprint specialist, a victor of 30 Tour stages.

"I was massively grateful that Peter came directly after the finish to see me - I have a good relationship with Peter".

The 30-year-old has one Tour stage win to his name, taken in Bagneres-de-Bigorre in 2013, but that was at a time when he came to grand tours targeting individual stages.

Following the end of the stage the pair spoke and Sagan went to Cavendish's Dimension Data team bus to apologise in person. "I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that", Cavendish said.

His crash came on a bend just inside the final kilometre but Cavendish's fall looked more damaging, just inside the final 100 metres.

Dan Martin was among them, and the Irishman opened a powerful acceleration on the second part of the ascent, when the gradients started to kick in again; that surge helped Martin finish third on the day, behind Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), as the best of the general classification contenders.

When he left for hospital, he was also wearing a sling.

"Even with the movement to the right, obviously I wouldn't be happy but that's racing".

Overhead video appeared to show world champion Peter Sagan bumping into Cavendish, who was squeezed against the barriers to his right.

The immediate future of Cavendish, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, remains unknown, however the Team Dimension Data rider said after the race he was "not optimistic" about his chances to continue.

That wasn't the only crash in the final kilometre as Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey also hit the deck further back, but he didn't lose anytime as he was inside final 3km and therefore it didn't affect the overall classification.

Both Thomas and Froome are fine, Team Sky said.

Eurosport is the home of the Tour de France.

"If I was Sagan, I'd apologize for that", said Roger Hammond, Cavendish's sports director at Dimension Data.

German sprinter Andre Greipel finished third and had strong words for Sagan.

"If there was a mistake, then you have to congratulate the jury for having the courage to punish the world champion, the big star of cycling today", said France's Arnaud Demare, who won Tuesday's stage.

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