Sagan en route to sealing Maillot Vert competition
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sagan en route to sealing Maillot Vert competition

by Shane Stokes at 9:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
GreenEdge directeur sportif concedes battle is over

Peter SaganAlready comfortably ahead starting today’s fourteenth stage of the Tour de France, Peter Sagan has further bolstered his Maillot Vert advantage by getting into the day’s break and nabbing top points at the intermediate sprint in Tarascon Sur Ariège.

The Liquigas-Cannondale rider started off this morning with a total of 296 points, well clear of the 232 of yesterday’s stage winner Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and the 203 of Matt Goss (GreenEdge).

The twenty points he picked up during today’s stage gives him a further buffer over those rivals, even if Greipel took four points behind.

With 45 points up for grabs for stage wins in the remaining days, Greipel and Goss will need to hope for miracles – or, rather, a disaster for Sagan – if they are to make up deficits of 76 and 109 points, respectively.

Their position would be rendered even more difficult if Sagan can stay clear until the stage end and pick up more points in Foix.

Whether or not that happens, Goss’ GreenEdge director Lorenzo Lapage said prior to the stage that the battle is almost certainly lost. “I think it's over, both for Greipel, and for Goss,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. The situation is clearly worse again now that Sagan picked up more points today.

For Lapage, the battle was as good as lost last Friday when Goss lost out on 32 after switching Sagan in the sprint. Thirty were deducted as a penalty, and he lost a further two when he was dropped from sixth to seventh, one place behind Sagan.

“I don’t think I'm the only one who thinks that the declassification was unjust,” said the directeur sportif.

“The decision was not taken by anyone who knows anything about cycling. It's a shame that your chances of taking green are deprived in that way. It would be a good thing if former riders formed the jury.”

However Sagan's performances since then have underlined that he is stronger than Goss and, in getting into today's break, may well have won himself the Maillot Vert in his first Tour.

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