The Slovakian received a 1000 CHF fine, around €900, as well as being docked 50 UCI points, the rules crucially not stipulating a loss of magla ciclamino points, Sagan currently leading that competition by 22 points over Israel Start-Up Nation's Davide Cimolai.
The incident that led to Sagan's fine is unknown, although is expected to have occurred at the start of the stage when he and his Bora-Hansgrohe team were looking to control who was allowed up the road in the breakaway, as either Cimolai or Fernando Gaviria's (UAE Team Emirates) presence could have speltled trouble for his hold on the maglia ciclamino.
"With the jersey it was our goal to control the race from the start and make sure Gaviria and Cimolai didn’t go for the break. That’s it for the day for us. Now I’d prefer to keep the jersey than fight for another stage," Sagan said after stage 18.
Alberto Bettiol emerged victorious after the breakaway stayed away before Sagan finished safely in the peloton 23 minutes later.
With Sagan expected to leave Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of the season following five seasons with the German team, fresh transfer rumours link him with ProTeam Total Direct Energie.
L'Equipe and Gazzetta dello Sport both say talks are underway between the two parties, with the French outfit keen to make the step up to the WorldTour and needing a star rider to be their headline name.
Bicycle brand Specialized, who also sponsor Sagan personally, are said to be keen to continue having the Slovakian ride their bikes in the professional peloton.
Two WorldTour teams are apparently also interested in acquiring the 31-year-old's services, Israel Start-Up Nation being one of them and the identity of the other currently unknown. Despite previous speculation, Deceuninck - Quick-Step have not held talks with the rider.
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