Peter Sagan Sprints to Victory in Crash-Marred Tour de France Stage

News & Results

07/6/2012| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Team Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan wins stage 6 of 2012 Tour de France. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Team Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan wins stage 6 of 2012 Tour de France. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Peter Sagan Sprints to Victory in Crash-Marred Tour de France Stage

Slovakian Peter Sagan of Team Liquigas-Cannondale survived another day blighted by crashes at the 2012 Tour de France and claimed a third stage win by edging out Team Lotto-Belisol's Andre Greipel of Germany in a sprint finish earlier this afternoon.

Slovakian Peter Sagan of Team Liquigas-Cannondale survived another day blighted by crashes at the 2012 Tour de France and claimed a third stage win by edging out Team Lotto-Belisol's Andre Greipel of Germany in a sprint finish earlier this afternoon.

Team RadioShack-Nissan's Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retained the yellow jersey for a seventh day after the 207.5-kilometer sixth stage from Epernay to Metz through the Champagne region.

"I don't know how many stages I can win," Sagan told Roadcycling.com and added "Three is already good, maybe more."

Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal of Team Garmin-Sharp, Cancellara's teammate Frank Schleck of Team RadioShack-Nissan and Team Sky Procycling's Mark Cavendish of Great Britain were among the riders involved in a huge pile-up that split the peloton 26 kilometers from the finish.

The crash left riders and bikes all over the road, but main contenders Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans escaped unscathed. At least three riders dropped out of the race.

The peloton, led by sprint teams from GreenEdge and Lotto-Belisol as well as a strong Team BMC Racing, then caught four breakaway riders with just over a kilometer to go.

Greipel, hoping to claim a third consecutive stage win, was the first to make his move in the final section but couldn't resist Sagan's surge.

"I was in a good position, I kept it and then nothing hampered my effort," Sagan said. "I took Greipel's wheel and everything went according to plan."

Competing in his maiden Tour, Sagan was involved in a crash on Thursday but recovered quickly.

As spirited fans cheered the riders by lifting glasses and Champagne bottles on the side of the road, American rider David Zabriskie launched an attack just five kilometers after the start. He was joined by Davide Malacarne of Italy, Romain Zingle of Belgium and Karsten Kroon of the Netherlands.

The four breakaway riders collaborated well and built a four-minute lead over the peloton before Cancellara's teammates moved to the front of the bunch to set up a faster tempo.

But a crash involving about 20 riders after 35 kilometers upset the chase, and the escapee's advantage grew to more than six minutes after 42 kilometers.

Among others caught in the crash were Rabobank team leader Robert Gesink, winner of the Tour of California this year, and former Spanish Vuelta champion Alejandro Valverde of Spain. But all the riders involved in the pileup were able to get back on their bikes.

Another crash slowed the peloton with 60 kilometers to go, with Greipel hitting the ground.

Overall, Cancellara leads the second-place Wiggins - a pre-race favorite who is hoping to become the first British winner of the Tour - by seven seconds. Evans climbed one spot to sixth, 17 seconds back, due to Norway's Edvald Boassen Hagen losing more than two minutes in a crash.

As far as title hopes go, the biggest casualty of the last pileup was Hesjedal. He had entered the stage in ninth place, 18 seconds back, but straggled across the finish with an injured more than 13 minutes behind -

Pages

Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment