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Press Releases | 17.07.2019

Peter Sagan takes Toulouse sprint fourth to consolidate lead in Tour de France points contest

After the well-deserved first rest day of the Tour de France, riders were welcomed back to the race with a gentler 167km stage that featured only two easy categorised climbs on the profile. The third and fourth category ascents would be straightforward enough for a peloton with fresh legs, but with the race drawing ever closer to the mountains, there were only a couple more opportunities for the sprinters before the finish in Paris. The fast men could yet turn an easy day into a hard one. The breakaway fancying its chances today as well, a small group rode away from the peloton the instant the flag was dropped to start the stage. The rejuvenating effects of the rest day, as well as a hot sunny start to the race, saw the four escapees soon build up a lead of more than two minutes. With the break stretching their advantage to three minutes, riding behind, the peloton was barely breaking a sweat, covering less than 40km in the first hour of racing, but with the intermediate sprint on the horizon, the pace increased as the sprinters organised themselves. Taking second from the bunch, Peter Sagan added to his points total, but the finish line was where the biggest prize was up for grabs. With the climbs out of the way, it was flat all the way to the finish line and the break’s advantage started dropping slowly, while their speed started to slow, their lead being cut in half by the 45km to go mark. The peloton’s speed rising and BORA-hansgrohe taking to the front to make the catch for the sprint finish, the gap shrank dramatically and with only 10km to go the break itself was shrinking too – down to three in the closing kilometres with only forty seconds on the bunch, dropping further to thirty seconds with 6km remaining as the last members dropped off. The last remaining escapee ran out of steam on a false flat 4.5km out from the finish, and from here on in it was all about finding out who had the legs to take the win. Daniel Oss was keeping Peter safe, giving it his all to get the Maillot Vert holder to the line, negotiating street furniture on Toulouse’s roads. It was frenetic in the shady streets, the sprinters eyeing each other up as they hit breakneck speeds. Bursting into the sunlight the sprint started, Peter close behind and riding hard, but having been forced to brake to avoid another rider peeling off the front, he found himself in dead air, losing the pace that would get him to the line first, instead taking fourth spot. The green jersey of points leader stayed with Peter for another day, while Emanuel Buchmann maintained his fifth in the GC and Patrick Konrad climbed to eleventh after finishing with the bunch.

 

Results

01 C. Ewan                 3:51:26

02 D. Groenewegen    +0:00     

03 E. Viviani               +0:00

04 P. Sagan                +0:00

 

From the Finish Line

"It was a day for the sprinters and our team did again a very good job. I was in a good position in the final straight to the finish and I was powering ahead. At about 100 metres from the line, I had to abruptly change my course in order to avoid a rider in front of me. That meant I lost contact with the riders ahead of me and when they sprinted, I tried to close the gap but it was impossible. Despite this, I'm satisfied I was still able to finish fourth and maintain my lead in the green jersey." – Peter Sagan

"The day began relatively easy but in the final kilometres it turned into a hectic race with some crashes and in one of them, Gregor hit the ground. He lost some skin but it isn't anything serious. Peter took important points in the intermediate sprint and in the finale, the team brought him once again in a good position. He was able to catch the wheel of Viviani but then had to swerve in order to avoid one of the lead-out riders, a move that made him lose his position. Still, he managed to take fourth, which is a good result for the green jersey." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

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