Sagan and UCI drop Tour de France disqualification dispute

'The crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident'

Peter Sagan and the UCI have agreed to end their legal battle concerning the world champion's disqualification from the Tour de France for dangerous riding just a few hours before the final hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Sagan was disqualified after clashing with Mark Cavendish in the final metres of the hectic sprint that decided stage 4 to Vittel. Sagan seemed to squeeze Cavendish into the barriers, with his elbow sticking out. He argued he was trying to avoid a crash but after two hours of studying video footage, the race judge disqualified him sparking one of the biggest controversies of this year's Tour de France.

Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team tried to get the verdict immediately overturned by CAS. When this failed, they promised to continue their legal battle. The hearing was set for December 5 but the UCI announced that the two sides had agreed "not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead."

After the vision of 'new materials' both parties reached a compromise and agreed "that the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident and that the UCI Commissaires made their decision based on their best judgment in the circumstances."

"On this basis, the parties agreed not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead," reads a UCI statement.

Sagan missed out on a chance out win a sixth green points jersey at the Tour de France because of his disqualification but in a carefully worded statement, he claimed he has put the moment behind him.

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"The past is already forgotten. It's all about improving our sport in the future. I welcome the fact that what happened to me in Vittel has showed that the UCI Commissaires' work is a difficult one and that the UCI has recognised the need to facilitate their work in a more effective way," he was reported as saying in the UCI statement.

"I am happy that my case will lead to positive developments, because it is important for our sport to make fair and comprehensible decisions, even if emotions are sometimes heated up."

Bora–Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk explained he had appealed to CAS to protect Sagan, his sponsors, insisting that that neither the team or Sagan had made any mistakes.

"It has always been our goal to make clear that Peter had not caused Mark Cavendish's fall. This was Peter's position from day one. No one wants riders to fall or get hurt but the incident in Vittel was a race accident as can happen in the course of a sprint," he was reported as saying.

"My job as a team manager is to protect my riders and sponsors. I think that this is what we, as a team, have done. I am reinforced in my view that neither Peter nor Bora-Hansgrohe have made any mistakes."

New UCI President David Lappartient confirmed, as was revealed during the Tour de France, that an extra 'Support Commissaire' or Video Commissaire role would be created for major races to help the race judges better decide on race incidents.

"These proceedings have shown how important and arduous the work of the UCI Commissaires is. As of next season the UCI intends to engage a 'Support Commissaire' to assist the Commissaires Panel with special video expertise on the main events of the UCI WorldTour," Lappartient said.

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