Tour de France 2020: Wout van Aert fined for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ after reaction to Peter Sagan incident 

Pictures emerged after the stage of Van Aert making a gesture towards Sagan 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert has also received a fine for “inappropriate behaviour” after the incident with Peter Sagan on Stage 11 of the Tour de France. 

Bora-Hansgrohe rider 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  (opens in new tab)

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

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

 The double stage winner in this year’s Tour said: “My opinion is I sprinted in a completely straight line at the right on the barriers.  

“He just tried to create space for himself and for me you’re not allowed to do that. 

“It’s already dangerous enough. I was really surprised and shocked at that moment, I felt something I was at maximum effort so I was really scared.”

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He added: “In the first moment I was so shocked and surprised that I was angry and I used some not very nice words to him. Afterwards I tried to explain it wasn’t right and I didn’t like what he did, but the only thing that came back was other strong words, so it was hard to have a conversation.” 

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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.