Dimension Data team 'surprised' not to be included in Peter Sagan Tour de France crash inquiry

Mark Cavendish's team not involved in UCI investigation that cleared Peter Sagan from being responsible for causing the crash on stage four of the Tour de France

Mark Cavendish injured after a crash on stage four of the 2017 Tour de France

(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Dimension Data team principal Douglas Ryder is seeking clarification from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) after the announcement on Tuesday that the UCI has ended the dispute with Peter Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team relating to a crash during the 2017 Tour de France.

Sagan and Dimension Data's Mark Cavendish clashed during the bunch sprint on stage four of the race, which saw Cavendish crash heavily into a roadside barrier and exit the race due to his injuries.

At the time, the race jury decided that Sagan was at fault and he was ejected from the race.

Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe subsequently decided to contest the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The hearing at CAS was due on Tuesday, but instead both the UCI and Bora-Hansgrohe settled out of court, saying that "the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident".

>>> Peter Sagan and UCI end legal dispute over Tour de France crash and disqualification

However, according to Ryder, Cavendish's team was not involved in making this decision and had no input in the final outcome.

“As riders and teams, we want all parties to work together to make racing safe and enjoyable," Ryder said in a statement issued by Dimension Data on Tuesday.

"We understood this dispute was over the process that prevented Bora-Hansgrohe from stating their case to the race jury.

"However, following today’s announcement it seems the investigation also included reviewing the actual race incident. Given that we are the team with the rider who ultimately suffered the most as a result of this incident, we were surprised to not be included to offer our insights to the investigation."

Watch: Tour de France stage four highlights

Cavendish fractured his shoulder blade as a result of the incident. This not only meant that he was forced to abandon the Tour – his main target of the year – but it also set back the rest of his season.

"Team Dimension Data would like to once again state that Mark Cavendish played no part in the cause of the season-ending crash," the South African squad said in their statement.

Bora-Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk has also said that Sagan had done nothing undue to cause the crash.

>>> Peter Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe to have court hearing against UCI over Tour de France disqualification

“It has always been our goal to make clear that Peter had not caused Mark Cavendish’s fall," said Denk. "This was Peter’s position from day one."

The UCI has said that it will now employ special commissaires to review video footage to assist in resolving issues during races.

UCI president David Lappartient said: "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 WorldTour."

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