Arnaud Demare survived some craziness down the stretch Tuesday that led to the disqualification of Peter Sagan to win the fourth stage of the Tour de France.
The 128.9-mile stage entering Vittel saw Sagan deliver an elbow that sent Britain's Mark Cavendish flying into the barriers at a high rate of speed. Demare avoided his own crash scare as well in outdistancing Norway's Alexander Kristoff at the finish line.
Sagan paid a high price for his actions -- he was disqualified for the remainder of the Tour de France.
"We've decided to disqualify Peter Sagan from the Tour de France 2017 after the tumultuous sprint here in Vittel," race jury president Philippe Marien said. "He endangered multiple riders, Mark Cavendish and others who were implicated in the crash, in the final meters of the sprint.
"We applied article 12.104, irregular sprints, in which case commissaires are allowed to enforce a judgment to disqualify a rider and amend a fine."
Sagan explained his actions prior to the disqualification.
"Mark was coming pretty fast from the back," said Sagan, a Slovakian. "I didn't have time to react and go left and he just came to me and after into the fence."
Cavendish was irate after the incident that left him with an injured shoulder and a badly cut finger that will require stitching.
"I will definitely need stitches in this finger, it's bleeding a lot," Cavendish said. "With the shoulder, it might be something to do with a previous injury; it's sat backwards so I'm not sure if I've done something to the ligament. I'm not a doctor but from the feelings I'm not optimistic."
The incident overshadowed Demare's first Tour stage victory. It also marked the first by a Frenchman in a bunch sprint since 2006.
"This win is extraordinary. It's marvelous," the 25-year-old Demare said. "I've dreamed about winning a stage at the Tour de France since turning professional."
Following Demare and Kristoff to the finish line were German Andre Greipel in third and France's Nacer Bouhanni in fourth.
Britain's Geraint Thomas remains in possession of the yellow jacket as the overall leader.