Peter Sagan says Wout van Aert should apologise over Tour de France sprinting incident 

The former world champion has reflected on his dispute with Van Aert during stage 11 of last year’s Tour 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Sagan says Wout van Aert should apologise for his reaction to a sprinting incident during the 2020 Tour de France. 

Former world champion Sagan and Van Aert butted heads during last year’s Tour after Sagan used his head and shoulder to shove his Jumbo-Visma rival in the sprint finish. 

After the finish, Sagan was relegated to last place in the peloton after initially finishing second on the stage, while Van Aert was also handed a fine for “inappropriate behaviour” after raising his middle finger at Sagan. 

In an interview with Belgian newspaper (opens in new tab) Het Nieuwsblad, Bora-Hansgrohe rider Sagan said: “I don't think I should apologise to anyone.

“Such situations happen in bunch sprints. Everyone knows how hectic things can get.

“After what he said to me in that sprint, I think he should apologise. I thought that five months ago and still do now. Well, I won't lose my sleep over it.” 

The incident happened on stage 11 of last year’s Tour during a bunch finish in Poitiers. 

Sagan was relegated after the sprint finish in Poitiers after he used his head and shoulder to shove Van Aert 50 metres from the line. 

The Slovakian, who had finished second on the stage, was pushed back to last place in the peloton,  received a fine and was handed a 13 point penalty in the sprints classification by the commissiares.

But the officials also handed a punishment to Jumbo-Visma rider Van Aert, after he made a gesture towards Sagan as the riders crossed the finish line.

After the stage, pictures emerged of Van Aert raising his middle finger to Sagan as he vented his frustration about the incident. You can see the picture on Twitter via Flamme Rouge here

Van Aert was fined 200CHF (£169) for his reaction, while Sagan was stripped of his second place finish, fined 500CHF (£422) and had 13 points deducted in the green jersey race. 

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Speaking after the stage, Van Aert said he tried to speak to Sagan but only received “strong words” in response.  

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.