Sagan accepts defeat, hoping to recover from stage one crash
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Sagan accepts defeat, hoping to recover from stage one crash

by Kyle Moore at 3:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
A green-silver lining for the Slovak after losing Tour stage three to Gerrans

Peter SaganPeter Sagan (Cannondale) found himself in the not-often-experienced position of losing out in a sprint, as Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) got the better of him in stage three of the Tour de France. The two fast men were the only riders in contention for the victory when they lit up the sprint, and Gerrans took victory by centimeters in a photo finish.

The runner-up finish for Sagan was his second in a row, and the Slovak continues to recover from a painful tumble he took in the mass crash that affected the finale of stage one on Saturday. Likely due to this, Sagan seemed to be lacking a little of the punch he normally has in a bunch kick, and Gerrans took advantage.

Even without a victory, Sagan’s consistent finishes the past two stages have vaulted him into the lead in the green jersey classification. He now leads with 74 points, over Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano), who as 57. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is next with 48 points, and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has 41.

Sagan was forced to accept his loss to Gerrans, a pill that was easier to swallow given that he was wearing the green jersey.

“I can’t be happy with this result but I have to accept it,” Sagan lamented. “Thanks to my teammates, because they did a great job to support me today. I’m still feeling the effects of the crash, today more than yesterday. On the other hand, I’m satisfied to have the green jersey.

“I know it will be hard to keep until the finish - every day something can happen at the Tour - but I’ll try. I have to chase my goal day by day. Now the most important thing is to recover in the best way and feel better.”

Sagan’s sprint with Gerrans was rather straightforward, with the Australian being a few hair-lengths quicker. Gerrans got a quality lead-out from Daryl Impey, a reversal of roles from what Orica-GreenEdge had been doing, and though Sagan was in prime position to come off his wheel for the victory, it didn’t quite happen.

As a result, Sagan was more comfortable talking about the points classification, rather than the sprint, after the stage.

“I want to bring the green jersey back to Paris, and I’m delighted to be at the top of the classification again,” Sagan was quoted as saying by “But to know how the sprint went, it is better to ask the winner, not me. I am just the runner-up!

“I did my sprint, but I do not feel very well since the fall in the first stage. I hope that every day I feel better, but I need to recover a bit more after the crash. I am happy when I accumulate points, which I have done today. We’ll see how everything goes in the coming days. I think first of the sprints, but I hope that the first crash is the last in this Tour for me.”

With flat stages coming up, the green jersey standings are likely to tilt more toward the pure sprinters, and Sagan’s recovery could affect whether or not he is able to compete with the likes of Mark Cavendish and André Greipel.


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