Everyone has seen the video 10 times by now and Peter Sagan’s shoulder barge of Wout Van Aert was so blatant that I thought for sure he’d be thrown out of the race again, like in 2017, I think. In the end, the French commentators were actually arguing over whether he should be penalized or not.
It was basically ‘old school’ vs ‘ new school’; in this case Laurent Jalabert vs Youan Offredo, during France Television’s Vélo Club post-race powwow. Jalabert, who could sprint back in the day, seemed to say that ‘these things happen’ and that Sagan was being slowed up by Van Aert and was looking for a way through. As he spoke, though, you could hear his conviction dissipating, especially after they kept showing the overheard video.
I think this was just before Sagan intentionally edged into Van Aert, giving us all something to talk about on an otherwise normal flat Tour stage.
I noticed others coming to Sagan’s defence today, which is natural because most of us are big fans. He’s obviously not the same this year and I guess the frustration is coming out, although his bike-handling skills haven’t taken a hit, that’s for sure. The way he finessed Van Aert over was masterful. Illegal and dangerous, but masterful!
As an aside, Laurent Jalabert and I have a few things in common. We are the same age (born in 1968) and exactly the same height (176 cm). He has a ways to go to catch up to me on weight, however (Jaja: 67 kg, Me: 73 kg). Come on, Laurent, you can do it!