Rival cyclists want Italian Roberto Ferrari thrown off the Giro d’Italia after he caused a massive crash at the end of stage three.
Ferrari was defiant after race judges relegated him to last place for causing the pileup, which brought down British sprint ace Mark Cavendish and overall leader Taylor Phinney.
Phinney needed three stitches to his right ankle, but was cleared of serious injury, while Cavendish hurt his shoulder.
Australian Matt Goss was ahead of the crash in the final sprint at the Danish town of Horsens and scored the first Grand Tour win for new team GreenEDGE.
Tuesday is a rest day for the Giro as the race transfers from Denmark to Italy, giving riders injured in the pile-up extra time to recover.
Goss’s teammate Stuart O’Grady was among several riders who went on Twitter to voice their anger at the crash.
Ferrari veered wildly to his right in the high-speed crash, bringing down several riders.
“That Ferrari dude should be kicked off the race. That’s just not on! hope the other guys that crashed are ok,” O’Grady tweeted.
Cavendish and his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas also called for Ferrari to be kicked out of the Giro.
“You can get suspended in football for a 2 footed challenge, or a spear tackle in rugby. Kick Ferrari out Giro for crashing 10guys at 60kph!!!,” was Thomas’ reaction.
Cavendish was full of praise for Goss, his teammate last year at the disbanded HTC-Highroad team, but savaged Ferrari.
“Ouch! Crashing at 75kph isn’t nice! Nor is seeing Roberto Ferrari’s manoeuvre. Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red & World Champ jerseys,” Cavendish posted.
“Is the team of Roberto Ferrari or the UCI (cycling’s world governing body) going to do the right thing? Other riders, including myself, have been sent home for much less.
“On a positive note, really pleased for (Matt Goss). Congratulations dude. Proper decent bloke.”
Ferrari proclaimed his innocence, with the 21-year-old Androni rider saying he was trying to find a way through the field to start his own sprint.
“I didn’t know who was behind me. In a sprint, I look straight ahead. I don’t preoccupy myself with what’s going on behind me,” he said.
But Ferrari’s team manager Gianni Savio said he would apologise to Cavendish for the high-speed crash.
“I will apologise to Mark Cavendish in the name of the team and in the name of Roberto Ferrari for the incorrect behaviour that was not intentional,” Savio told the cyclingnews website.