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Sagan angrily pointed his finger at Van Aert after crossing the line fourth in the stage won by Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco).
“I cannot judge, we have a jury for that,” Sagan said from the team bus. “From the image of TV you can see. I am happy that I am still here in one piece.
“Well I’m not happy but we have a jury at the Tour de France and they can judge, not me,” Sagan said. “I started my sprint and the gap started to close and I found myself by the barriers and nothing happened. It’s just like that.”
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Sagan was coming up the right hand side of the road when Van Aert, Groenewegen, and Jasper Philipsen roared down the middle of the road.
Van Aert pulled hard with Groenewegen and Philipsen coming on his left, leaving Sagan to get squeezed against the barriers.
Van Aert said he was not aware of Sagan’s concern.
“No, I saw him come past me, and I saw him trying to say something, but I could not understand him with all the noise, I was not sure that he was complaining about,” Van Aert said. “I don’t know how far he ended up or what happened there.”
Sagan’s fourth place in the sprint was his best Tour finish since he was third in stage 10 in the 2020 Tour.
“Everything was perfect, I was in perfect position, everything was fine, just something missing,” Sagan said. “It was a very hectic two days. It was hectic in the final, but that is normal in the Tour de France.”
Seeing Sagan angry is a ‘good,’ says team manager
TotalEnergies manager Jean-René Bernaudeau said seeing Sagan so upset is a “good thing.”
“It’s good that Sagan is not happy, when he’s like that it’s because he has the legs, and the main thing is that he has found them,” Bernaudeau told French TV. “The Tour starts, there will be other occasions, he is perhaps the best sprinter when there are difficulties before so the good news today is that we find some really good Sagan.
“Sagan had the legs to win, and that’s what annoys him, but that’s how it is,” he said. “It’s the sprinters, it’s violent, and it’s normal for him to be angry.”