Team Dimension Data has announced it will seek further information from the UCI after the sport's governing body and Peter Sagan ended its legal battle regarding the exclusion of the world champion from the Tour de France for dangerous riding.
Sagan and Dimension Data's Mark Cavendish were involved in an incident in the stage four sprint finish in which Cavendish fell, severely injuring his shoulder and forcing him out of the race. Following a two-hour video review, Sagan was then ejected from the race in what was one of the biggest controversies of the 2017 Tour. Dimension Data claim Cavendish was was not at fault for the crash.
Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe announced they would try to get the verdict immediately overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but when this failed, a hearing was announced for December 5. Hours before the CAS hearing in Lausanne, the UCI released a statement, announcing that both parties decided "not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead."
In a statement from Dimension Data, team principal Douglas Ryder explained he will request more information.
"As riders and teams, we want all parties to work together to make racing safe and enjoyable," Ryder said. "We understood this dispute was over the process that prevented Bora-Hansgrohe from stating their case to the race jury. However, following today's announcement it seems the investigation also included reviewing the actual race incident. Given that we are the team with the rider who ultimately suffered the most as a result of this incident, we were surprised to not be included to offer our insights to the investigation."
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- CAS reject Bora-Hansgrohe appeal to return Sagan to Tour de France
- Peter Sagan, Bora-Hansgrohe protest decision to disqualify rider from Tour de France
- Sagan and UCI drop Tour de France disqualification dispute
- The great debate: Should Sagan have been ejected from the Tour de France? - Podcast
In his first season with Dimension Data, Cavendish won four stages of the Tour de France to move to 30 career wins at the French Grand Tour. Despite being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus earlier in the season, Cavendish recovered to take to the start line in Dusseldorf for the Tour in search of Eddy Merckx's stage winning record of 34. However, the broken shoulder he sustained in the stage four crash ended his Tour and further compromised his season.
Cavendish returned to racing at the Tour of Britain in September, explaining to Cyclingnews and Gazzetta dello Sport later that month that, "I've had so little racing due to my illness and injuries that I've got to carry on through. I'm not chasing success, I'm realistic about that, I'm just going to ride my bike and help the team."
Cavendish was on hand for the unveiling of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire route Tuesday, where he confirmed his presence at the early-May race, but did not publicly comment on the Sagan and UCI decision. On Tuesday, Dimension Data also announced it will not make further comment regarding the issue.
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