Remarkably, Sagan won the stage even though his right foot slipped off the pedal as he launched into the final sprint 300m from the finish line in Longwy. He was trying to follow the wheel of the eventual stage victor, France's Arnaud Démare, by squeezing between Peter Sagan and the barrier, and as Cavendish tried to make space, Sagan bumped into him, sending the Manxman into the barrier.
Cavendish raced on Sagan's right and near 150 metres to race in the 207.5-kilometre stage, but he ran out of space as Sagan drifted right. He was seen leaving the area with his arm in a sling.
Then, just before the finish line, world champion Peter Sagan appeared to knock Mark Cavendish with an extended elbow has he came out of the saddle to overtake.
"If he came across that is one thing but I am not a fan of him putting his elbow out like that", Cavendish vented after the stage had finished. "When I caught him, I looked where we were and sat up as I wanted to wait a little", he said.
"In terms of pain-wise, I've done my shoulder twice before and I'm in more pain now than I was for one of my shoulders - that doesn't make me too optimistic, just on feeling, but I'm not a doctor", he said.
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"I'd like to speak with Peter, to comment on stuff is not really right and it's always going to get taking out of context what I say". "I didn't know Mark was behind me. When I had the pedal problem I wondered what happened, some more bad luck, but I had no time to think and I went again", Sagan said.
"I will definitely need stitches in this finger, it's bleeding a lot", Cavendish told reporters.
By that point, Julien Vermote was at the front of the bunch, setting the pace behind the day's six escapees and permanently controlling the gap, which didn't go beyond three minutes: Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Romain Sicard (Direct Energie). I don't know [how bad the injury is]. Another rider to consider is local rider Nacer Bouhanni who was born in Épinal which is not only where I went on my French exchange programme a very long time ago, but also in the heart of the Vosges department. He initially lost all the points he earned on Tuesday and fell far back in the race for the green jersey, a punishment that seemed fair given his excessive use of elbows.
Both Thomas and Froome are fine, Team Sky said.