Peter Sagan explains the injury that saw him abandon the Tour de France 2021

The seven-time points jersey winner crashed on stage three and never fully recovered

Peter Sagan after crashing on stage three of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Sagan has revealed he had to abandon the Tour de France 2021 due to an infection to a cut in his knee which he picked up in a crash on stage three of the race.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider battled through the first week and part of the second before having to step off the bike before the start of stage 12, which was won by his team-mate, Nils Politt. 

In an Instagram post, Sagan explained his injury: "On stage three, the chainring hit my knee and entered the skin above the patella, leaving a deep wound. We cleaned the wound as much as possible to prevent infection because of the dirt from the chain oil."

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Sagan came down with Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) who had to abandoned due to a broken collarbone.

"However, after a few days, an inflammation developed in the bursa on top of the patella, and, unfortunately, antibiotic treatment couldn’t prevent an infection," continued Sagan. 

"The only option was to stop racing at the Tour de France and get the bursa surgically removed."

Fortunately for Sagan, the infection did not involve the joint in the knee and doctors were able to perform surgery on the wound at very short notice in Monaco. The three-time world champion thanked the medical staff as well as his team and his fans.

The bursa is a fluid-filled cushion in the knee, elbow, shoulder and hip. Sagan was suffering from bursitis which is is a painful condition that occurs when the bursae become inflamed.

"I'm feeling well right now and in a couple of days, I'll be able to train again on my rollers. If all goes well, I'll be riding my bike on the road very soon."

Sagan told the press, just before he left the race, that he will now focus on the Olympic Games road race, an event he did not ride in Rio back in 2016 due to him focusing on the cross-country mountain bike race instead.

It is also rumoured that the Slovakian superstar will be leaving Bora-Hansgrohe and it is only a matter of time until it is announced he has signed for the French second division team, Team TotalEnergies.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.


Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.


When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.


He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.