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Peter Sagan abandons the Tour de France

PONTIVY FRANCE JUNE 28 Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Team BORA Hansgrohe involved in a crash attack in breakaway during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 3 a 1829km stage from Lorient to Pontivy LeTour TDF2021 on June 28 2021 in Pontivy France Photo by Benoit Tessier PoolGetty Images
Peter Sagan did not start stage 12 of the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was forced to abandon the Tour de France before the start of stage 12 to Nimes due to a worsening  knee injury. 

The three-time world champion crashed with Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) in the stage 3 sprint to Pontivy, with a chainring digging into his right knee. 

He raced on and gradually recovered but revealed before the start in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux on Thursday that he had recently worsened his injuries, forcing him to quit the Tour de France.       

"It’s not very nice to be leaving," Sagan said as his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates lined up for the start but he prepared to head home.  

"The injury I had after the first stage seemed to be getting better and better but then I hit the knee against the handlebars again two days ago in the sprint and it’s swollen. I can’t bend my leg."

“There’s nothing I can do but take some rest and get better. If you can't move your leg, where can you go? 

Sagan has been selected for the Slovakian team for the road race at the Tokyo Olympic ans hopes to travel to Japan and still be on form. 

"I’d like to go to the Olympics. I think it’s still possible. Unfortunately crashes and injuries are part of our sport," he said.

This was Sagan’s tenth Tour de France and he was chasing an eighth green points jersey. 

The only Tour he failed to finish was in 2017 when he clashed Mark Cavendish in the sprint in Vittel. The Manxman crashed into the barriers, fracturing his shoulder and Sagan was disqualified from the Tour only later to be cleared of wrongdoing by the UCI after threats of legal action.