Former top sprinters condemn decision to disqualify Peter Sagan from the Tour de France

Baden Cooke, Robbie McEwen, and Alessandro Petacchi all condemn decision of race jury

A number of former sprinters have condemned the decision of the Tour de France race jury to disqualify Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) from the race.

Sagan was kicked out of the race following a clash with Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) on stage four of the race, sending the tumbling to the ground at high speed.

>>> Dimension Data boss doubts Mark Cavendish will be able to start Tour de France stage five

The two-time world champion was disqualified from the race for, in the opinion of the commissaires, seriously endangering other riders.

Watch: Tour de France stage four highlights

Baden Cooke, who won the green jersey in 2003, described the decision as a “bad decision” and calling Sagan’s actions “unintentional”.

Robbie McEwen, another Australian former sprinter who won the green jersey in 2002, 2004, and 2005 and was demoted to last place on a stage of the 2005 for headbutting compatriot Stuart O’Grady, also took to Twitter to condemn the decision.

McEwen’s opinion that Sagan should have been demoted to last on the stage but not disqualified from the race was shared by Alessandro Petacchi.

Jens Voigt, who rode 17 Tours de France winning three stages, also gave his opinion on events in a lengthy Twitter thread.

The last rider to be disqualified from the Tour de France for actions in a sprint was Mark Renshaw, who was thrown out of the 2010 Tour for headbutting Julian Dean while leading out Cavendish on stage 11 of the race.