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Tour de France 2017: Stage 4

Full live coverage of stage 4 of the Tour de France, which is, on paper, destined for a bunch sprint in Vittel. 

 

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Stage 4 preview

Stage 3 report: Sagan wins in Longwy despite pedal mishap

Podcast: Porte attacks, Froome moves up, Contador cautious & Sagan on top

 

 

 

Hello there, and welcome to Cyclingnews’ live race centre for another day at the Tour de France. We’re already on stage 4 and in store we have 207.5 kilometres from Mondorf-les-Bains, in Luxembourg, to Vittel, back in France. From a spa town to a natural source of mineral water, this is an opportunity for the sprinters to wash away the disappointment of Sunday or, if you’re Marcel Kittel or Peter Sagan, to keep the victories flowing.

Vittel has previous when it comes to the Tour and washing clean. In 1968 it was chosen as a symbolic location for the Grand Départ, the year after Tom Simpson, amphetamines and alcohol in his bloodstream, died on Mont Ventoux. 

 

More of that in our full stage 4 preview

The sun is shining in Mondorf-les-Bains, where the coffee is flowing in the village départ, riders are starting to sign on, and our reporters are buzzing around the team buses. 

 

The roll-out will be at 12.10 local time. 

 

RT @LeTour: 31 victoires pour @MarkCavendish aujourd'hui ? / @MarkCavendish, 31 today? #TDF2017 https://t.co/PonIVZowPA

@OHTATera Tue, 4th Jul 2017 09:12:53

 

Let's quickly catch up on yesterday. Peter Sagan did what Peter Sagan does - astound us, and make the astounding appear routine. A foot slipping out of the pedal in the thick of an uphill sprint would be curtains for most riders, but the world champion calmly clipped his back in and surged clear once more to claim his eighth Tour stage win. Here's the full report:

 

Tour de France: Sagan wins in Longwy

 

The disc brakes are back today for some of the sprinters. Here are Michael Matthews' and Marcel Kittel's bikes. 

 

 

 

The GC and the jersey wearers

 

1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 10:00:31
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:13
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 0:00:16
6 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:25
7 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:30
8 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:32
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:00:34

 

 

Yellow: Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Green: Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)

Polka-dot: Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac)

White: Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)

 

There's a resident barber in the village départ every morning and he gets a surprising amount of business. Here's Romain Bardet, who does like to look after his image. 

 

Un petit rafraîchissement capillaire pour @romainbardet @LeTour #allezalm https://t.co/6t8yAIbp7T

@AG2RLMCyclisme Tue, 4th Jul 2017 09:48:30

 

If you'd like to see how this stage will unfold geographically, check out our preview video, which traces the route from Luxembourg, over the French border, and south towards Vittel. You can find that here

 

 

Plenty of riders are late to sign on, which could see the roll-out delayed by a few minutes. 

 

Colombian club better get a move on...

 

Here's Arnaud Démare (FDJ), the French champion who is one of the big favourites for today. He's in form, he has one of the strongest leadouts of the whole peloton, and he was a close second to Kittel on Sunday. 

 

After a tougher day then expected yesterday. Hoping there will be some tired bodies today. Should be another big sprint in Vittel

@swiftybswift Tue, 4th Jul 2017 09:50:48

They're off

 

The riders have rolled out and are currently making their way through the neturalised zone. 

Au revoir Mondorf And Luxemburg. Heading to km0 @LeTour #tdf2017 https://t.co/YGkgIndvXA

@sebpiquet Tue, 4th Jul 2017 10:14:11

 

Christian Prudhomme pops his head out of the red car and waves his flag, which means the stage is officially underway.

Wow, what a situation we have here. The break has already gone and, here's the catch, there's only one rider up there. 

 

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty- Groupe Gobert) heads up the road, but no one goes fancies going with him, and the peloton carries on at an easy pace, riders looking around asking, 'is that it?'

 

There is one very small climb on this flat and long stage, which was always almost certain to culminate in a bunch sprint. We wouldn't have expected a big fight for the break, but this is something else. 

 

Fair play to Van Keirsbulck, who looks over his shoulder, almost in disbelief. He has a lonely day ahead of him, but he has the cameras to himself for over 200 kilometres, and his team won't be complaining about that. 

 

Van Keirsbulck comes into Schengen, which has political significance as the Schengen Agreement of 1985 led to the abolishment of border controls across Europe. 

198km remaining from 207km

Almost 10km in and our intrepid lone leader has opened up a lead of three minutes over the peloton, and that is set to grow considerably. 

On a day like today you'll have plenty of time to listen to our latest Tour de France podcast. Ed Pickering joins Daniel Benson for a show that features Porte, Froome, Contador, and Raymond Poulidor with a man with a cat on his head...

 

Podcast: Porte attacks, Froome moves up, Contador cautious & Sagan on top

 

187km remaining from 207km

7 minutes 30 seconds now for Van Keirsbulck.

Reminds me of day Armindo Fonseca attacked last year (stage 3) and ASO literally begged Voeckler to do a counterattack #TDF Cav won.

@TourDeJose Tue, 4th Jul 2017 10:42:42

Good luck to all of the TV commentators on the Tour today #solobreak #2017tour

@petercossins Tue, 4th Jul 2017 10:51:36

Running through the breakaway riders and their backgrounds won't take long today, but Van Keirsbulck is certainly an interesting rider to discuss.

 

A few years a go he looked like a classics star in the making - a Belgian on QuickStep who won the Three Days of De Panne in 2014. Yet he failed to build on that potential in the subsequent years, as illness, injury, and a lack of opportunities at QuickStep saw him go two seasons without a victory. At the end of last year he made the decision to step down to Pro Continental level with Wanty-Groupe Gobert, and his decision was seemingly justified as he won Le Samyn earlier this year - an indication that his career was back on track. This is his first Tour de France. 

 

Van Keirsbulck: This is the year of truth for me

 

171km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck now has a lead of 10 minutes.

Our lone leader is riding at an average speed of just over 40km/h, while the peloton is trundling along at just under 30km/h. 

Yesterday's stage winner Peter Sagan was riding the new Specialized Tarmac with a custom paint-job. We checked out his bike, which you can admire in this gallery, complete with the full spec sheet. 

 

Peter Sagan's Tour de France stage-winning silver S-Works Tarmac

 

Speaking of Sagan, we have a special feature today. Pat Malach sat down with Juraj Sagan, brother and teammate of Peter, to explore the fraternal bond and a career lived largely in the considerable shadow of the sport's biggest star. Here it is:

 

All in the family: Juraj and Peter Sagan are brothers in arms

 

Team Sky, with the maillot jaune on the shoulders of Geraint Thomas, lead the peloton, with Luke Rowe on the front at the moment. They'll perform their duties in the early phase of this stage but then the sprinters' teams will be expected to come to the front when it comes to reeling Van Keirsbulck back in. 

 

153km remaining from 207km

13 minutes for Van Keirsbulck.

The last successful day-long solo breakaway at the Tour de France remains Christophe Agnolutto in 2000 #tdf2017

@irishpeloton Tue, 4th Jul 2017 11:36:54

Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson has his finger firmly on the pulse of the transfer market and, along with some news on Contador that you'll soon be able to read on the site, he has this update from the buses this morning. 

 

"Team managers will be rolling out the red carpet for rider agents in the next few days. The rest-days at the Tour are typically when agents jet in-and-out to negotiate with team managers.

 

"One rider who was on the market and now appears to be off is Steve Cummings. There had been interest from several teams - one American, one Russian - but he has now agreed terms with Dimension Data, although the contract needs to be signed.

 

"It's unclear, however, if Nathan Haas will stay. Left off the Tour team as they settled around Cavendish, the Australian is also out of contract and talking to several parties. Dimension Data are set to meet with his agent on Monday but they're aware that they face a battle to keep him."

145km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck's lead has finally stopped growing, settling just below the 13-minute mark as Andre Greipel's Lotto Soudal team send a man up to sit on the front of the Sky train. 

 

135km remaining from 207km

Marcel KIttel's Quick-Step, like Lotto, have now sent a rider to the front, and the pace has increased to the extent that Van Keirsbulck's lead has dropped to 11 minutes. 

 

Peter Sagan is chasing back through the cars after a mechanical. It's not a bad time to have one, and he's duly taking his time over it, making sure to exert no unnecessary effort that he might be able to use at the end of the day. 

 

After the opening-day time trial, yesterday's uphill finish saw the first direct skirmishes between the overall contenders, with Richie Porte riding away in the final kilometre. He didn't gain any time, but it certainly seemed like a statement of intent. Here's what the Australian, the favourite in the eyes of some, had to say. 

 

Tour de France: Porte shows intent on first uphill test

 

124km remaining from 207km

GVK hasn't had a single second out of the wind today, and his lead is coming down pretty quickly now. 8:30 as Thomas De Gendt, arms folded over the bars, leads the peloton. 

119km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck's lead drops to 7:30 with QuickStep-Floors and Lotto Soudal setting the pace at the head of the peloton.

They will be glued to the television screen in the Brasserie Arend in Roeselare, which houses the Guillaume Van Keirsbulck fan club. The bar is situated in Polenplein, which is where the team buses park ahead of the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen. During Van Keirsbulck's time at QuickStep, the team management made a point of going inside for a coffee ahead of the race. 

 

The general classification contenders will be very pleased with how this stage has quietly unfolded thus far. Tomorrow's leg to La Planche des Belles should be their next major rendezvous, and they will be glad to spare all the energy they can ahead of it.

 

113km remaining from 207km

Jakob Fuglsang's Criterium du Dauphine victory marked him out as a podium contender on this Tour, where he shares leadership with Fabio Aru. The Dane expects a more controlled race than the Dauphine. "I think we’ll be a bit more defensive but we’ll have to see when we get closer to the mountains. In the Dauphine we also were helped by the tactics of the other teams when we played out cards," Fuglsang said. "If that works out again it will be perfect but a team like Team Sky for sure have a stronger team here than they do at the Dauphine when it comes to controlling the race. That means it’s important not to lose energy."

 

 

Fuglsang penned a new two-year deal with Astana on the eve of the Tour, and the Dane has been enjoying life on and off the bike in recent weeks. "June has been a very good month and of course winning Dauphine, having my first child, and signing a contract for the next two years makes we relaxed and calm," he said. "It has given me the abilitiy to just focus on the race now and give it my maximum. I don’t think I’ve had a time in my life like this. It’s going to be hard to beat."

 

110km remaining from 207km

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas it among a phalanx of white Team Sky jerseys towards the head of the peloton, which is still being led by Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step.

 

Alberto Contador is on the verge of extending his stay with Trek-Segafredo for another season. Dan Benson spoke to Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena for the latest on the Spaniard's contract situation and his plans to target one final tilt at the Giro d'Italia in 2018. You can read the full story here

 

106km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck rides with his forearms resting on the tops of the handlebars, as though gripping invisible Spinaci extensions in the manner of Michele Bartoli. Despite the aerodynamic position, his lead is down to 6:30.

 

FDJ and Cofidis have joined the chase effort at the head of the peloton. Eleven years have passed since Jimmy Casper became the last Frenchman to win a bunch sprint at the Tour de France, and in that period, no one has come much closer than Arnaud Demare did on Sunday, when he took second behind Marcel Kittel.

 

101km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck approaches the feed zone in Blenod-Les-Pont-a-Mousson with a lead of 6:23 over the peloton. He is, according to the on-screen graphic, some 4.6 kilometres further along the road to Vittel than the bunch.

 

Just one of the factors making Van Keirsbulck's life difficult today is the stiff headwind, and the road never really changes direction. He has a minor victory over the peloton, though, in that he has a team car up with him at all times to serve up drinks and snacks on demand. That means that while the other riders have to grab musettes at the feed zone, he doesn't even have to carry a second bidon on his bike. 

88km remaining from 207km

The gap is down to 5:45 as the riders make their way past some sunflower fields that are so emblematic of the Tour.

 

 

This photo tells the story of the day so far

 

 

Extra motivation for Nacer Bouhanni

 

“I arrive on home soil. Vittel is only 18km away from my parents. For sure it's an extra motivation," the Cofidis rider told the Tour's website. "There was a bit of a misunderstanding during the first sprint of the Tour. I hope we'll fix it today. My legs are good. Kittel isn't necessarily the wheel to follow. There are many sprinters of the same level here."

 

75km remaining from 207km

With 75 kilometres left to race, Van Keirsbulck's lead stands at 4:40.

 

Coming up with 50km remaining is today's intermediate sprint, followed by the only categorised climb - the cat 4 Col des Trois Fontaines, topping out with 37km to go. Van Keirsbulck will be allowed to stay out to mop up the points at both, but it won't be long before the sprint trains get organised and his solo adventure comes to an end. 

We drove the last little bit of the course today. Some tight corners and and a steep enough ramp after the last bend. #tdf2017

@SadhbhOS Tue, 4th Jul 2017 13:38:44

Another Frenchman who's well up for it is Démare. Have a read about what he had to say about his second sprint opportunity. 

Tour de France: Demare ready for win in Vittel

 

58km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck's posture is betraying the effort accrued over the past 150 kilometres, as he shifts around on the bike. It's not coming quite as naturally anymore. A light downhill stretch helps him out but his lead is down to 3:30.

Sprinters' teams are collaborating to ensure a bunch gallop at Vittel. #TDFdata #TDF2017 https://t.co/QvMuhHLKW6

@letourdata Tue, 4th Jul 2017 13:54:33

 

Olivier Le Gac, one of Demare's key teammates, is back at the medical car receiving treatment. It's unclear what the problem is. 

Van Keirsbulck is coming up to the intermediate sprint point. He won't sprint but he'll collect the maximum 20 points. 

Le Gac, it seems, is ill rather than injured. There were doubts about whether he would start today's stage.

 

The fight in the peloton for the remaining points is winding up now. 

 

Demare, who Sagan says is his biggest rival for the green jersey, shows his intent and is the first to launch his sprint. Sagan is on his wheel and runs him all the way to the line, but Demare holds on. Greipel was third there. 

Demare takes an intermediate sprint. They're always a little odd—who can go the fastest without going so fast they hurt their finish kick?

@Cyclocosm Tue, 4th Jul 2017 14:10:58

Démare (FDJ) accelerated up to 71.53 km/h on the way to the intermediate sprint. #TDFdata #TDF2017 https://t.co/YhebLhgCsf

@letourdata Tue, 4th Jul 2017 14:12:17

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) took heart from his fourth place on stage 2 and hopes to do even better in Vittel, even if his form is not as he’d like due to his recent bout of Glandular Fever.

 

“It was nice to get fourth after six weeks of training but it was less about my form and more about my ability to jump on wheels,” Cavendish told a group of television crews at the start.

 

“I looked at my power data. I could win smaller races with that but not do much in the Tour de France. We’ll see how it goes, we’ve got nine opportunities for a sprint. I got lucky the other day so maybe today too. I’m not too optimistic but ill give my best.”

40km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck is about to hit the Col de Trois Fontaines, the 1.9km cat-4 climb. He does so with a lead that has been reduced to 2:10.

 

37km remaining from 207km

Van Keirsbulck grinds his way up the climb. He's shelling time but still giving it his all. A solitary KOM point is his reward at the top. 

Le Gac is back at the medical car again. He's enjoyed plenty of time without having to pedal but this doesn't look great for him. Intestinal problems, we're hearing. 

 

Le Gac, stomach issues, white shorts. It's the apocalypse.

@nyvelocity Tue, 4th Jul 2017 14:27:44

Fair play Van Keirsbulck, bit of a long-winded way to pick up a couple of primes but he's hung in rather well. I think he'll last 15k more

@willfoth Tue, 4th Jul 2017 14:34:38

More from Cavendish

 

“I’m tired and was on my knees yesterday. The other teams in our hotel said the same. People watching on TV perhaps want to see it split and prefer the mountain stages but when we’re all together is when it’s most tiring, we’re all trying to hang on. There was a headwind (yesterday) and so if you let the wheel go you had to pull hard, there wasn’t one metre of flat yesterday. I saw a lot of people suffering so that gave me more confidence I can finish the Tour."

 

26km remaining from 207km

Despite a brief period of keeping the peloton at bay, Van Keirsbulck's lead is falling again. 1:15 is how it stands. 

 

A reminder that we're podcasting regularly from the Tour, and that you can find our latest episode - featuring Porte, Froome, Poulidor, and cats - at the following link. 

 

Podcast: Porte attacks, Froome moves up, Contador cautious & Sagan on top

 

Who do you fancy for the victory today? 

 

There's certainly no shortage of candidates. Let me know your predictions via Twitter @paddyfletch.

 

20km remaining from 207km

Just over half a minute now for GVK as he enters the final 20km. His arms are still folded over his handlebars - they may be stuck there this evening. 

 

Premature to flag cavendish for this stage? Came through yesterday, sounds positive. Failing that, Sagan if there's a real ramp @paddyfletch

@DavidHollywood_ Tue, 4th Jul 2017 14:51:35

There is indeed a slight ramp in the final kilometre. Here's how it looks. 

 

16km remaining from 207km

It's all over for Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. He mimes a cut-throat gesture to the cameras to indicate that he's cooked, and he's quickly forgotten as he's swallowed up with so much as a 'bonjour' from the passing peloton. Chapeau. 

 

Van Keirsbulck drifts straight to the back of the peloton. His day is now about trying to hang on until the finish. 

13km remaining from 207km

It's still fairly calm in the peloton at the moment. Quick-Step are still well back. The fight for position hasn't started quite yet. 

@paddyfletch It will be Greipel. #tdf2017 #vittel

@mitzwinkel Tue, 4th Jul 2017 14:58:58

Astana are up there. They're looking after their two GC leaders. Sky are doing the same. FDJ have set up shop through the middle for Demare. 

 

@paddyfletch i think the Gorrilla...get that stage win per grand tour out of the way early

@Leroispeed Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:00:33

@paddyfletch The newspaper headlines have already been written "Kittel reins in Vittel"!

@colmobrien4 Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:00:43

10km remaining from 207km

Into the final 10km and the peloton is still spread across the road. From left to right, Katusha, Movistar, FDJ, Bora, Astana. 

Van Keirsbulck (WGG) averaged 40.35 km/h, by himself, over 191 km before getting caught by the peloton. #TDF2017… https://t.co/V9jP8S18TR

@letourdata Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:01:52

Quick-Step are still nowhere to be seen. No sweat here from Kittel. 

Sunweb are also quite far down. Michael Matthews seems to have his sights set on Kittel's wheel. 

 

Steve Cummings come to the front now for Dimension Data, working of course for Mark Cavendish. 

An Astana rider remonstrates with the Dimension Data train as the pace picks up. Not quite sure what his problem is. 

 

6km remaining from 207km

Here come Cofidis now. Big day, this, for Bouhanni in his home region. Could this be the day he finally lands a Tour win?

 

difficult choice,road book not always precise..i'll go with @marcelkittel #tdf2017 @paddyfletch

@Shaheen_ Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:03:38

One footed Sagan :) @paddyfletch

@scrawnz Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:04:21

5km remaining from 207km

Into the final 5km now. Katusha have faded away, drifting back some way towards Quick-Step. 

 

Sky move up on the right as Katusha regain some control on the left. 

 

4km remaining from 207km

Katusha lead as it strings out. Cofidis are behind, with Sky more or less the third team down. 

 

Lots of movement now as a Quick-Step riders moves forward. They've lost each other for the moment. 

 

3km remaining from 207km

Dimension Data look good here as Bernie Eisel does a big turn and hands over to Cummings. 

 

Big left-hander and it strings out. DiData lead still.

 

2km remaining from 207km

Lotto Soudal are making an appearance now. DiData are burning matches with 2km to go

 

Demare is behind Lotto

 

1km remaining from 207km

Cavendish lets a gap open to his leadout men, encouraging others to take it up

 

Crash! Thomas down

 

Here we go. Kittel caught up in the crash i think

 

Lotto lead out

 

Kristoff goes first

 

Cavendish crashes!

 

Demare wins!

 

Wow. Cavendish went hard into the barriers. He's still on the deck. That looks bad. 

 

Thomas is rolling across the line. He looks ok. He won't lose any time 

 

Replays show that Cavendish bumped shoulders with Sagan and was forced into the barriers, which he bounced off before landing heavily on his shoulder. Cavendish is receiving medial attention on the road, barely 50 metres from the line. 

 

Amid the chaos, Demare galloped through for a victory for a famous win in the French champion's jersey. His surge was impressive, and he burst past Kristoff, who had to settle for third as Sagan came up for second. 

The overhead replay is not kind to Sagan, who appears to make a deliberate movement with his arm as he collides with Cavendish. Apparently he was angry with Greipel. There's going to be plenty of fall-out from this. 

Greipel took fourth in the sprint, Bouhanni fifth. There were only five in it, really, after such a hectic final kilometre. 

Sagan is paying a visit to the Dimension Data team bus. 

 

 

Top 10

 

1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 04:53:54
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:00
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:00
4 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 00:00:00
5 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 00:00:00
6 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie 00:00:00
7 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:07
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 00:00:07
9 Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:10
10 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:10

 

Sagan has taken the blame for that crash and has apologised to Cavendish, who has his hand bandaged. 

 

Geraint Thomas appears to be unscathed. 

 

Early look at that: Sagan elbow or not, Cavendish would have gone down. Heading for a gap that was rapidly closing

@Andymcgra Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:24:40

We'll be keeping this live blog open for all the post-stage fall-out and reaction, with plenty of quotes to come in from the main protagonists as we get them. 

 

"Greipel was angry with me but I don't know why, you'd have to ask him," says Sagan. 

 

My colleague Brecht Decaluwe has asked him, and has sent this update from the Lotto bus. "Greipel mad at Sagan because he doesn't follow the rules, thinks he's the king. Also caused trouble in the intermediate sprint."

 

More on that to come...

 

General Classification after stage 4


1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 14:54:25
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:07
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:12
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 00:00:12
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 00:00:16
6 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:25
7 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:30
8 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:00:32
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:32
10 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 00:00:33

 

So, bonus seconds take Sagan above Froome into second place overall. Demare is into the top 10, too. 

 

"If I was Sagan, I'd apologise for that," says Cavendish's DS Roger Hammond. 

 

"Mark is being looked at by the doctor. A crash that close to finish is never good. We have doctor on board and then he will go to radiology. He's hit the ground flat out. It's too early to say, you have the obvious injuries - the cuts and you can see his hand - but it's too early to say what the damage is."

Mark Cavendish speaks to a huge scrum of reporters

 

"Injury-wise I'm going to go and get it checked out," he says. "I will definitely need stitches in this finger, it's bleeding a lot. With the shoulder, it might be something to do with a previous injury, it's sat backwards so i'm not sure if I've done something to the ligament. I'm not a doctor but from the feelings i'm not optimistic."

 

He is also asked about what caused the crash and how he feels about Sagan. 

 

"I was just following Demare round, and then Sagan just came over. I get on with Peter well but I don't get it... if he came across it's one thing, but the elbow... I'm not a fan of him putting his elbow in like that. I get on with Peter, a crash is a crash, but i'd just like to know about the elbow."

 

Geraint Thomas, still in yellow, speaks to ITV in the mixed zone. 

 

"I'm all right," he reassures. "It was just a crash in front of me, and I had nowhere to go. You want to stay up front out of trouble but in the sprints that's where it happens, I guess. it's one of those really, you're just hoping nothing happens in front, and it did today. 

 

"Chris [Froome] was a bit behind me so I think he managed to get around it, so he's all ok."
 

 

RT @SophieSmith86: Roger Hammond and Rolf Aldag remonstrating with judges after Cavendish crash. Hammond calling for Sagan to go home. #tdf…

@thepuncheur Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:47:21

Also hearing that Lotto Soudal manager Marc Sergeant has spoken to the jury as well. He claims Sagan elbowed Greipel yesterday. 

 

Bora say they will review the footage before making a statement. 

 

This from Robbie McEwan on Twitter

 

"I’ve now been able to watch the replay of the sprint a few times. Sagan deserves DQ on that one. Hope @MarkCavendish is ok. That was heavy."

Time to step up #UCI. This was not a race accident. Violence. Hard to DQ a world champion from #letour, but needs to be done.

@RolfAldag Tue, 4th Jul 2017 15:55:43

We're hearing that Sagan has been docked 30 seconds. They complaints are ongoing, though, and that may be subject to change. 

 

It seems that Degenkolb and Swift, both also taken out as Cavendish fell into the road, are ok. 

 

Here is the revised top 10 on the stage after Sagan's demotion. 

 

1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ 04:53:54
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:00
3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 00:00:00
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 00:00:00
5 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie 00:00:00
6 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:00
7 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 00:00:00
8 Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:00
9 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:00
10 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:00

 

Here is our initial story on the crash

 

Tour de France: Sagan sparks Cavendish crash during Vittel sprint

 

This is the moment it happened. Cavendish is the green bike on the ground. 

 

 

Here are Lotto Soudal manager Marc Sergeant's full quotes to Eurosport

 

“I asked André. He was quite pissed by the attitude of Sagan, making some moves which he shouldn’t make. Yesterday it was the same thing in the intermediate sprint, he gave an elbow to André and he was a little bit pissed yesterday already. Twice in a row is too much. Greipel was saying, ‘He isn’t my friend anymore from now on.’ That was 20 metres past the finish line.”

 

Amid the madness, it's easy to lose sight of our stage winner, Arnaud Demare (though there are question marks over whether he himself deviated from his line). Here he is celebrating his first Tour de France stage win. 

 

 

My View: 1-Sagan Closed gap hard =not right. 2-Cav went for the gap that wasn’t there = not right. 1+2=Racing incident Hope all are ok!!

@Maggy_PR Tue, 4th Jul 2017 16:15:01

We're now hearing that Sagan has been docked points as well as seconds, moving him down the green jersey standings. 

Sagan started the day on 50 points and should have made it 95 thanks to second place at the intermediate sprint and again at the finish. 

 

However, it seems he is down to 15, meaning he has lost the 30 points for his second place finish, and been docked another 50 on top of that. 

Demare is currently sitting down for his press conference. His green jersey hopes just got a whole lot brighter, and he'll no doubt be asked about that. 

Mark Cavendish crosses the line with blood still pouring through his bandaged hand. 

 

 

You can see plenty more photos, along with full results, in our stage 4 report. 

 

Tour de France: Demare wins in Vittel

 

"I just heard news that Sagan lost 80 points," says Demare.

 

"The jury showed guts to sanction the world champion, today's star of cycling. Now I've got a chance for green."

Congrats to Demarre & all credit to him but I think Cav would have won had he got thru the gap

@mcewenrobbie Tue, 4th Jul 2017 16:40:40

Peter Sagan has been disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France after a crash in the finale of stage 4. Report coming soon!

 

Read our brief report about Sagan's disqualification 

 

News of Sagan's disqualification is certain to ripple throughout the Tour caravan and social media. The fall out is just starting.

 

A week ago both Sony Bill Williams & Peter Sagan were the paragons of their sport. Today both r on the naughty step. Funny old world saint!

@gallagherbren Tue, 4th Jul 2017 17:06:41

Bora-Hansgrohe will have to make some big adjustments to their Tour plans. Is Rafal Majka's GC effort on point?

 

It was a bold move by the race jury to kick the world champion and cycling's biggest star out of the race. At this point, Sagan's team can attempt to appeal the ruling, but it's not clear yet if any avenues remain open. 

 

Cavendish, meanwhile, has been checked out at a hospital and suffered no fractures. It's not yet clear if he'll start stage 4 on Wednesday.

 

“I get on with Peter well,” he said before being taken away for check-ups.

“But if he came across that’s one thing, but the elbow I’m not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that. Like I said, I get on with Peter, a crash is a crash but I just need to know about the elbow really."

 

only a few specific rules to DQ rider from stage race, "acts of violence" being one of them. Normally relegation to last place, fine etc

@inrng Tue, 4th Jul 2017 17:13:40

Sagan's team may have an appeal based on UCI rules, which call for relegation to last in the group for a first offence, relegation to the back of the field for a second offence and, finally, disqualification for the third offence. However, the jury may have judged this to be an "act of violence", which would bring the DSQ.

 

NBC Sports got the jury's announcement on video:

 

Official statement from @letour disqualifying @petosagan #TDF2017 pic.twitter.com/xuKnahiJGr

“We applied article 12.104, irregular sprints, in which case commissaires are allowed to enforce a judgement to disqualify a rider and amend a fine.”


Read more about the decision HERE

 

That sound you hear is thousands of velogames teams imploding.

@nyvelocity Tue, 4th Jul 2017 17:35:18

I DON'T agree with the expulsion of @petosagan from @LeTour. DQ on the stage ok, but kicked off the Tour!?! NO.

@mcewenrobbie Tue, 4th Jul 2017 17:43:44

It doesn't look like there is a way back in the race for Sagan. The jury's decisions are final, accoding to UCI rules.


He was fined 200chf, and the rule book says: "Decisions by the Commissaires Panel or the referee on race incidents shall not be open to appeal unless a fine exceeding 200chf is imposed."

 

Sadhbh O'Shea has the latest from Dimension Data on Mark Cavendish's conditions.

 

Read her report HERE.

Forgotten among all the controversy over Sagan's DSQ is Arnaud Demare's first Grand Tour win and the first French win of Tour sprint stage since Jimmy Casper's in 2006.

 

Our Brecht Decaluwé has the story, which will be on the site soon.

 

Peter Sagan isn't the first rider to be disqualified from the Tour de France, of course. We've compiled a list of some other high-profile early exits from the race.

 

Well, that's it for a very eventful day at the Tour de France. Join us tomorrow for stage 5, which offers the first true mountains test of the race.

 

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