Sagan frustrated by loss of points, green jersey lead reduced
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Friday, July 06, 2012

Sagan frustrated by loss of points, green jersey lead reduced

by Shane Stokes at 5:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Slovakian rues crash in finale of stage five

Peter SaganHe’s still holding the green jersey as points classification leader in the Tour de France, but Peter Sagan lost out on some of his advantage over the riders behind him when he crashed in yesterday’s finale of the race.

Unlike the previous day when he avoided a spill involving Mark Cavendish, the former mountainbiker’s skill wasn’t quite enough to get him out of trouble. He manoeuvred his way around falling riders, but ran into a stray bike and tumbled to the ground.

As a result he lost out on the chance to chase a third stage win, and also to add to his point total.

“In the images it is clear that a rider is determined to go [forward], and his move is what brought us all down,” he said afterwards. “This should not happen at this point in the race.”

Sagan had started the stage with 147 points, 55 more than Matt Goss (GreenEdge) and 60 more than André Greipel (Lotto Belisol). He increased his total by eight points when he placed eighth in the intermediate sprint at Breteuil, while Goss picked up two more than that in finishing ahead of him.

The main differences came about in the final sprint, though, with Greipel and Goss taking 45 and 35 points respectively, and Sagan losing out altogether.

“I am angry because I lost points,” he fumed. “When I came to the finish I was not scared. What's there to be afraid of? I was just angry. One of my team-mates, Sylvester Szmyd, lent me a wheel in order to race again. But it was too late to participate in the sprint.”

The net result is that the green jersey contest is much tighter than before. Sagan still leads on 155 points, but Goss has narrowed the gap to 18 points; Greipel is now 23 back.

The Slovakian rider has made clear that he is gunning to take the green jersey to Paris, and will seek to fight back today. He hasn’t proved as fast as the other sprinters in flat finishes, however, so Greipel, Goss and one or two others may well nibble away at his lead in Metz before the tougher terrain ahead hands Sagan an opportunity to get further ahead.

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