Demare takes Tour stage amid crashes

Tour de France team accuses Peter Sagan of 'an act of violence' after elbow incident

Slovakia's Sagan crossed second and Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) finished third in the stage, a 207.5-kilometer ride from Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg to Vittel, France.

"I definitely need stitches in this finger and in this fake ligament, it's something to do with that previous shoulder, just sat backwards", Cavendish said. "He just came to me and after to the fence". "I don't know if I snapped it".

"I'm not a doctor, I don't know what, but I'm not optimistic anyway".

Cavendish rode in with a teammate after treatment, gingerly holding his right arm close to his body, with his right hand in a bandage.

Demare, the 2016 Milan-Sanremo victor, took over the lead of the green jersey points classification after Marcel Kittel was caught up in the first crash that split the peloton before the final kilometre. Cavendish was pushed off his line then tried to shoot a gap that wasn't there.

His team manager, Roger Hammond, confirmed after the stage that Cavendish would be going to hospital to be checked over before any decision can be made about whether he can continue in the race, with most concern apparently relating to his potential injuries sustained when his right shoulder hit the barrier.

Although Sagan had come to speak to him at his bus after the stage, Cavendish said he still wanted an explanation about the elbow.

"I get on with Peter well, but I don't get. if he came across is one thing, but the elbow". "The guys put me in a fantastic position, and I felt good". Cavendish, victor of the second-most Tour de France stages in history, tried to pass Stage 3 victor Sagan, but instead, he fell into a barrier, suffering what appeared to be a shoulder injury, and is likely out of this year's Tour.

A medical team quickly ran out to treat the Dimension Data team rider, jogging into the oncoming stream of riders to reach him. "I was also surprised that Matthews was coming back so strong". "After, he just come and yeah, he just touched me and after the fence".

Sagan's bodyguard told journalists that the world champion had been destabilised in the sprint finish by another rider.

Fellow Briton Chris Froome, the defending champion, is 12sec off the pace in the general classification in second place. "Happy to get through unscathed", Thomas said.

"I'm okay", Thomas said. "There was a crash in front of us and again I had nowhere to go".

He was coming from behind, I did not have time to react and go left, he said.

Froome described the finish as "interesting", and the three-times champion was clearly relieved to have got the stage out of the way, especially given Sunday's spectacular mass pile-up that unseated him from his saddle.

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