Belfast Telegraph

Sagan victory hints at further improvement

 

By Ian Parker

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan warned his sprint rivals there was more to come after he powered to victory on stage five of the Tour de France.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider was much too strong for Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain-Merida and Quick-Step's Philippe Gilbert in a sprint which came at the top of a short, punishing climb into Quimper.

Chris Froome and Adam Yates finished safely in the front group with no major changes to the general classification.

It was Sagan's second stage win of this Tour following stage two into La Roche-sur-Yon on Sunday, and the 10th of his career.

The short climb inside the final kilometre tempted a number of the classics specialists to the fore, including BMC's Greg Van Avermaet in the yellow jersey, but once the road levelled off it was Sagan who still had the most power left in his legs.

"I'm hoping still to improve," the Slovakian said. "The Tour is very long and we are only on the fifth stage.

"Gilbert attacked a bit early, trying to drop everybody. Then Greg went early which was good for me as it meant I could follow. I just held off Colbrelli. I managed to keep my sprint longer."

With Team Sunweb's Michael Matthews forced to abandon the race in the morning, a sixth green jersey in seven years already looks like being Sagan's to lose.

Belfast Telegraph

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