Sagan fined for 'intimidation and improper conduct' at Giro

The Giro d'Italia race jury has docked Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 50 UCI points and fined him 1000 CHF for "Intimidation and improper conduct against other riders" after an unspecified incident on Stage 18 of the Italian Grand Tour.

104th Giro d'Italia 2021 - Stage 17

Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe and leader of sprinters classification during Stage 17 of the Giro Source: Getty Images Europe

Sagan did not lose any points in the ciclamino jersey competition, maintaining his leader's jersey in the standings with a current lead of 22 points over Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) and a further three points over Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates).

Sagan and teammate Daniel Oss were policing the early moves at the head of the peloton during the early stage battle to make the breakaway.  The stage is expected to be the final major hurdle for Sagan's tilt at the points jersey, and the large breakaway without a rider present to challenge Sagan's lead meant that the outcome of the race was positive for the three-time world champion.

It took almost 60 kilometres of racing for the peloton to finally let the 23-rider breakaway go, until with 179 kilometres to race, Sagan came to the front of the peloton with Oss and INEOS Grenadiers' Filippo Ganna to finally bring a stop to the attacks. It's not known exactly when the incident occurred or the other rider or riders involved, but it would seem most likely that it would have involved the formation of the early break, with Sagan keen for the move to go without a threat to his ciclamino jersey present.

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"Today was an important stage and the key was not to lose points for the ciclamino jersey," said Sagan in a press statement after the stage. "We kept under control the sprinters that were close in the points classification and held on to the ciclamino. On Friday and Saturday, we have two hard mountain stages."

With just two stages, hard days in the mountains, awaiting the peloton, Sagan simply has to limit losses to his rivals to secure his first Giro points jersey after finishing second in the standings last year. 

"This was the last decisive stage for the ciclamino jersey, so it was our main objective of the day," said BORA-hansgrohe sports director Ján Valach. "Our strategy was to either let a breakaway group go all the way to the finish or, if other teams were also interested in that, work to keep the escapees under a shorter leash and be ready to fight in the finale.

"The squad was strong today and we were ready for all possible scenarios, including the possibility to battle for the stage win. Every one of the guys worked hard in the initial part of the stage and a big group went away.

"That was to our advantage since no sprinter would get any points in the intermediate sprint. We weren't worried about the escapees building too much of an advantage since all sprinters were in the bunch. Peter was protected, stayed safe until the finish line, and kept the points jersey."

The Giro d'Italia continues tonight with Stage 19 to Alpe di Mera, the summit finish of a shortened stage that will see the riders take in 166 kilometres of racing before the Alpine finish. You can watch the race from 2025 AEST on SBS OnDemand, with SBS VICELAND coverage starting at 2120.


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3 min read
Published 28 May 2021 at 10:13am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS