Sagan about Greipel: ‘I don’t think he’s stronger than me’
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sagan about Greipel: ‘I don’t think he’s stronger than me’

by Shane Stokes at 5:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Green jersey wearer not discouraged by close defeat

Peter SaganWith three wins apiece after Andre Greipel nabbed victory into Le Cap d’Agde today, the German and Peter Sagan are the most successful stage hunters thus far on this Tour de France. Sagan’s triumphs have come in part due to his greater versatility or, to put it more bluntly, his ability to triumph on steep finishes that leave the bulkier Greipel in difficulty, while the latter appears to have the edge in flat, faster finales.

Sagan used his uphill power to triumph in Seraing and Boulogne-sur-Mer, but was also quickest on the flatter gallop to Metz on stage six.

As for Greipel, his brute force carried him to the line first in Rouen, Saint Quentin and today. Sagan tried to get past him but ran out of road, crossing the line second.

Both riders will chase more victories in the days ahead, with the finish on the Champs Elysees being the biggest sprint of all.

Sagan refuses to concede that Greipel has the edge on flat roads, though, saying that he is confident he could have won today had he got things tactically right.

“For me to win today, I might have had to start my final sprint a little bit earlier,” he said after the stage. “I only lost because of the final lunge to the line. Also, the Lotto team was very, very strong. They did very good work for Greipel in the last twenty kilometres so it was good for him that he won.

“I don't think he's stronger than me but that's sprinting – one time he wins, another time I win...”

Sagan is looking very likely to win the Maillot Vert in what is his first Tour participation. He has 296 points, 64 more than Greipel, and 93 up on Matt Goss (GreenEdge), who was penalised yesterday for deviating sharply in the final sprint and almost hitting into Sagan.

That battle is not a close one, but the head-to-heads between Sagan and Greipel are much more balanced and could be a fascinating rivalry in any remaining sprint stages.

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