Sagan in strife after cheeky gesture

Peter Sagan, pinch, Fabian Cancellara, Tour of Flanders
Pinch ... Sagan makes his move on the podium as Fabian Cancellara celebrates (Getty Images)

Highly-rated Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan was accused of sexism and harassment after he was pictured pinching the bottom of a podium girl after the Tour of Flanders.

Sagan, 23, smirked towards the camera as he grabbed the bottom of a blonde hostess, one of two girls giving congratulatory kisses to race winner Fabian Cancellara.

His actions caused an out-pouring of anger on Twitter.

"Shame that Peter Sagan has so much class on a bike and so very little off it," wrote British cyclist Michael Hutchinson on Twitter.

Later, he added: "Im a little surprised that probably 50% of the Sagan-ass-grabbing-gate replies I've got have been pro Sagan. (Maybe I shouldn't be.)."

Sagan later took to Twitter to apologise for the incident.

"Was not my intention to disrespect women today on the podium. Just a joke, sorry if someone was disturbed about it," he wrote.

Earlier this year, Cycling Central editor Philip Gomes wrote a piece on why he thought it was time podium girls were made a thing of the past in cycling.

"While podium girls are a lovely, ornamental sideshow to the racing, the increasing presence of women in the sport through improved racing conditions, performance and governance means that it’s time to make that presence a more contemporary one," Gomes wrote at the time.

Cycling author Matt Rendell agreed in the wake of Sagan's actions.

What did you think of Sagan's cheeky gesture? Tell us in the comments below.

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