Why was Peter Sagan Penalized in Stage 11?

Australia’s Caleb Ewan won stage 11 of the Tour de France on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins after a frantic bunch sprint was decided on a photo-finish, as Primoz Roglic retained the overall lead on a sizzling day in terms of temperatures and concluding action. The diminutive Lotto Soudal rider, who visualizes various sprint scenarios on the morning of the race, edged Tuesday’s winner and training partner Sam Bennett, who is currently in the green sprint jersey.

“I know how hard he worked and how much it meant to him, but it meant a lot to me too,” said Ewan.

“He’s one of my closest friends, we’re kind of best mates and we live in the same block and we train together.”

Originally second in the sprint along the central Poitiers road packed with excited fans, the peloton superstar Peter Sagan was sanctioned after swerving from his line and blocking the late surge of Wout van Aert. Record seven-time sprint points winner Sagan was expelled from the Tour in 2017 after causing Mark Cavendish to fall in a lively sprint.

“I think it was alright, that’s sprinting,” said Ewan of Wednesday’s swerve. Van Aert’s team Jumbo-Visma leader Roglic was in two minds about the incident.

“It was the right decision in one way,” said Roglic, who leads defending champion Egan Bernal by 21 seconds.

“Sprinters are different from the rest of us though, they are crazy guys, it’s tougher. But still it needs to be fair,” he added.

Why Peter Sagan was penalized in Stage 11

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

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