Greg Henderson has given his thoughts on the disqualification of Peter Sagan from the Tour de France. The Kiwi fast man is no stranger to being at the sharp end of Tour de France stages, with Henderson having ridden five Tours de France working for then teammate Andre Greipel.
This year sees Greg Henderson not included in the Tour de France start list for the first time since 2011 and his Team Sky years; as his UnitedHealthcare team did not receive a wildcard entry to the event. His five years with Lotto Soudal yielded a Tour start each time and Henderson became highly respected and revered as one of the finest lead out riders in the world, for one of the finest sprinters in the world; the ‘gorilla’ Andre Greipel.
Henderson, therefore, knows a thing or two about things getting tense and tough at the front of the race at high speed. After the news that Peter Sagan had been disqualified from the Tour de France following his elbowing of Mark Cavendish Greg Henderson weighed in on the subject on his website.
First of all Henderson addressed the line that Mark Cavendish was trying to take in the final couple of hundred metres. “He [Cav] did try follow the French champion through a gap that was never there,” Henderson said. “A golden rule in sprinting, especially the Tour de France, is never dive for the barriers hard, because this is where crashes happen. It is so easy for an animated crowd to lean over the barriers and touch the cyclists.”
The next question, aimed at Sagan, is whether the elbow was deliberate or not. In Henderson’s case it’s pretty clear. “It was by no means intentional from Sagan. I mean it’s not like he looked behind and saw Cav and then closed the door. Sagan was touched from behind by a fast moving Cav and thrown off balance. The knee jerk reaction to regain his balance was lean right and put elbow out (which never actually connected with mark).”
Greg Henderson called it an accident at the end of the day. So was Sagan hard done by?
To read Greg Henderson’s full assessment of the crash click here.