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Press Releases | 08.07.2019

Peter Sagan claims green jersey after sprint to fifth on Tour de France stage 3

The Tour de France finally made its way into French territory today with a rolling 215km stage. Leaving Belgium around the day’s halfway point, the parcours headed due south the entire day towards the finish in Champagne country in Épernay. The intermediate sprint came before the day’s climbs, with four categorised ascents coming in the last 40km. The undulating finale would make the going tough for the sprinters, particularly with a kick uphill to the finish; it looked like the day would be one the all-rounders and Classics specialists would be contesting. After a day on the time trial bikes, the peloton was clearly happy to be back on a road stage, with attempts to break from the drop of the flag. Five riders made their move and quickly established a strong lead, using the flat start to the day to their advantage. With the gap jumping out to more than six minutes at its peak, but the moment it passed this magic number, the peloton was spurred into action – not least because they wanted to reduce the escape’s lead ahead of the intermediate sprint. The break took the top prizes in the sprint, but with plenty of points still up for grabs, the BORA-hansgrohe riders led Peter Sagan out to take second from the bunch. The stage passing the halfway mark, as well as the flurry of activity for the intermediate sprint, brought the gap down fast, and with the break steadily losing steam, a solo rider went off the front, putting some distance between himself and the break. The peloton had the scent of victory in their noses though, and as the distance remaining dipped below 20km, the bunch had reduced the lead to less than a minute. There were still some hard climbs to go though, with the final climb – the Côte de Mutigny – the hardest of the day at 12.2%. Daniel Oss was keeping Peter Sagan safe over these climbs before peeling off, with Maximilian Schachmann taking his place. No sooner had the catch been made, another solo attack went off, but this time with a quartet behind him trying to reel him back, Maximilian having made the move to this group, but with more strength in the chasing bunch, this group dropped back to support the peloton. The gap dropped to less than thirty seconds with 4km remaining, but it was incredibly tense. Riding on the front, Peter Sagan posed a clear threat both to the escapee as well as the riders in the bunch. The stage won by the solo rider, the peloton was licking at his heels. Coming over the crest of the final brutal climb, Peter was third man back, fighting for space on a twisting finale and taking fifth on the line. The points claimed today pushed Peter to the top of the points standings, pulling on the race’s coveted Maillot Vert for the first time as the true points leader.



01 J. Alaphilippe         4:40:29

02 M. Matthews          +0:26

03 J. Stuyven              +0:26

05 P. Sagan                +0:26



From the Finish Line 

"It was a very, very hard stage today, 215km long, with very high speed from the start and four categorised climbs. The last two were really tough while the finishing ramp, although not categorised, was tough after a long and strenuous day in the saddle. I finished fifth, taking fourth place in the bunch sprint, and together with the points in the intermediate sprint, I now have the green jersey. I'm, obviously, happy to pull it on the podium and I look forward to the next stages." – Peter Sagan

"It was a really hard finale, with an extremely high tempo. Even before Alaphilippe's attack a lot of riders were dropped and everybody was on the limit, so when he launched his attack nobody could react. I then tried to grab the opportunity when nobody was willing to organise themselves but this move didn't come to fruition. So, I waited for Peter for the eventual sprint which didn't come. I felt quite well today and I think everything is on track. It's a pity we didn't win the stage but in terms of the overall classification, I think everything is going smoothly so far." – Maximilian Schachmann

"As expected, today's finale was very hard. We were hoping to take the win with Peter but in the end, he was fifth. Nevertheless, I think it was a good day for BORA-hansgrohe, as Peter claimed the green jersey while our GC riders were in the front, well positioned, and avoided losing any time to the main contenders, something important today. All our climbers finished in the big group, so they are in good shape. Maximilian Schachmann was also free to go and take a chance in the finale but Alaphilippe was just too strong. Our strategy was to wait for Peter and aim for the sprint but the only way to win today was to follow Alaphilippe when he attacked but it was impossible today. Last but certainly not least, the news on Emanuel Buchmann is very good. He didn't feel any pain today, so it seems that all is good and his crash didn't have any long-lasting effect." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

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