Dimension Data sports director Rolf Aldag has called the Tour de France stage 4 crash involving Peter Sagan and his rider Mark Cavendish as a 'loss, loss, loss' situation for all'. World champion Sagan has been disqualified from the Tour for his role in the accident while Cavendish has withdrawn from the race due to numerous injuries, including a broken shoulder.
Taking to Facebook, Aldag sought to clarify earlier comments he made via Twitter, writing "...Just to get a few things straight here.
"The Web goes wild and I understand that emotions are a big part of this and of the Sport. But let's try to stay reasonable. It isn't right to call others "Arschloch" or even worse, for having different opinions," he wrote. "For sure I am biased here and admit that. I also respect if others see things completely different. That is everybody's right."
Aldag added that he understands a sprint finish incident is unavoidable in cycling and suggested an apportion blame of both Cavendish and Sagan.
"About the incident: Crashes happen and that is part of cycling. Who's fault was that today? Peter? Cav? Both? Probably a fair share from all involved, and that includes more than Mark and Peter. But what I just can't understand is Peters elbow out there," wrote Aldag. "Peter is well deserved World Champion and has to be a role model for the sport. Do we want to see these accidents more often as it becomes normal behavior, or do we want to see it in the Junior or Kids races? I don’t think so, but how do we explain that this isn't the way to do it if the best riders in the world do it? That’s why I think that there had to be consequences today."
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- Peter Sagan, Bora-Hansgrohe protest decision to disqualify rider from Tour de France
- Tour de France: Mark Cavendish pulls out after stage 4 crash
- Tour de France: Peter Sagan talks about stage 4 sprint - Video
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- A look at previous disqualifications at the Tour de France
- Peter Sagan disqualified from Tour de France
Aldag also addressed questions that he influenced the decision of the race jury, emphasising that he is well aware of his bias in the situation.
"To be clear: I read that I "required" Peters exclusion towards the Jury. The jury is independent and decides, we respect that. Like it or not. As said earlier: Do I have an opinion? Yes. Am I shy to tell it? No. and so I did. Does that influence the outcome of this case? No," he wrote.
Having lost its sprinter and leader for the Tour, Aldag explained that there no good will come from the crash and it a 'bad' day for cycling.
By the way: we can divide the World now into Marl [sic] fans and Peter haters or Mark haters and Peter fans, but that's not what sport is about. I am sure that Peter and Mark will work this out in between each other and don’t need us to move on," wrote Aldag.
"This is a loss, loss, loss situation for all. It is bad for Peter, bad for Mark, bad for the Tour and for cycling."
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