Peter Sagan and cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), have reached an agreement, effectively ending the World Champion’s dispute over being disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France.
During last July’s French Grand Tour, the UCI deemed that Sagan was at fault in a crash that left Mark Cavendish injured, which ultimately led to the British rider’s withdrawal from the race.
As of today however, Sagan withdrew his case which was scheduled to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on December 5.
In a statement, UCI said “the parties agreed that the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident.”
CAS had rejected an initial urgent appeal to have the Slovakian rider reinstated, but the jury refused to accept his request.
The UCI said it had considered “video footage that was not available at the time” in making their latest judgement.
“As of next season the UCI intends to engage a ‘Support Commissaire’ to assist the Commissaires Panel with special video expertise on the main events of the UCI World Tour,” said UCI president David Lappartient.
Sagan added, “The past is already forgotten. It’s all about improving our sport in the future.”
“I am happy that my case will lead to positive developments, because it is important for our sport to make fair and comprehensible decisions, even if emotions are sometimes heated up.”
Cavendish claimed that Sagan had elbowed him during the sprint finish during stage 4 in Vittel, France, causing him to crash into the barriers which resulted in a broken shoulder.
“I can accept the decision but for sure I do not agree with them, because I think I have done nothing wrong,” Sagan said at the time.
Sagan and his team insisted he did not see his rival, as Cavendish tried to sprint along the barriers just before the finish.
Sagan was initially docked 30 seconds before race officials reviewed the footage and upgraded his punishment to disqualification, ending his bid to win the Tour’s green jersey for a record-equalling sixth straight year.
from the UCI…
In advance of the hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne scheduled for December 5, 2017 the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Peter Sagan and BORA – hansgrohe have agreed to end the legal dispute and controversy about Sagan’s disqualification from this year’s Tour de France.
Peter Sagan was disqualified following a crash in the sprint at the end of the 4th stage in Vittel.
Immediately following the disqualification Peter Sagan and BORA – hansgrohe had appealed the decision of the race jury with the CAS and, in order to enable Peter Sagan to finish the Tour, requested a temporary suspension of the disqualification. As is well known, this request was denied by CAS; subsequently, however, all parties involved had the opportunity to provide evidence and call witnesses. On 5 December 2017, CAS was scheduled to hear the matter in Lausanne.
Having considered the materials submitted in the CAS proceedings, including video footage that was not available at the time when the race jury had disqualified Peter Sagan, the parties agreed that the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident and that the UCI Commissaires made their decision based on their best judgment in the circumstances. On this basis, the parties agreed not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead.
The new President of the UCI, David Lappartient, commented on the UCI’s position as follows: “These proceedings have shown how important and arduous the work of the UCI Commissaires is. As of next season the UCI intends to engage a ‘Support Commissaire’ to assist the Commissaires Panel with special video expertise on the main events of the UCI World Tour.”
The UCI World Champion Peter Sagan is pleased with this development: “The past is already forgotten. It’s all about improving our sport in the future. I welcome the fact that what happened to me in Vittel has showed that the UCI Commissaires’ work is a difficult one and that the UCI has recognised the need to facilitate their work in a more effective way. I am happy that my case will lead to positive developments, because it is important for our sport to make fair and comprehensible decisions, even if emotions are sometimes heated up.”
BORA – hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk adds: “It has always been our goal to make clear that Peter had not caused Mark Cavendish’s fall. This was Peter’s position from day one. No one wants riders to fall or get hurt but the incident in Vittel was a race accident as can happen in the course of a sprint. My job as a team manager is to protect my riders and sponsors. I think that this is what we, as a team, have done. I am reinforced in my view that neither Peter nor BORA – hansgrohe have made any mistakes.”
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