Pro riders past and present have jumped to the defence of Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), after the world champion was kicked out of the 2017 Tour de France for dangerous sprinting at the end of stage four – an incident which has resulted in Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) abandoning the race with a broken shoulder.
Sagan came off his racing line in the final sprint, cutting across Cavendish and forcing him into the barriers as he appeared to flick his elbow out.
Amid fury from Dimension Data riders and staff, Sagan was consequently booted out of the race for his role in the crash, having initially just been hit with a relegation on the stage, and time and points penalties.
The Slovakian world champion, 27, protested his innocence, with his Bora-hansgrohe team confirming they had appealed his expulsion after the race.
And he has found support from within the peloton, as well as plenty of ex-pros, who, while many felt a relegation in the sprint was merited, felt expulsion from the Tour was too harsh a punishment.