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“I have to thank [Alberto Contador] because it was not so much a surprise as a pleasure so see someone like Alberto working on the climb to drop the other sprinters, or at least to break up the group."

Photo: ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - PERI

ALBERTO CONTADOR

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PETER SAGAN

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TIRRENO - ADRIATICO

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16.03.2015 @ 19:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan powered his way to success, as he sprinted to victory on the penultimate stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. After a long period of multiple second places, Sagan finally got the relief that he had been searching for, thanks to a determined team effort. 
 
After crossing the finish line of stage 6 with a big roar, Sagan tells that he was especially pleased with the way the stage was won.
 
"I'm extremely happy and I would like to thank the entire Tinkoff-Saxo team because today they did a great job. They all helped me, including Alberto Contador who in the last two climbs pulled as hard as he could to break the group. We managed to drop a number of sprinters and pulled for the last 80km of the race until the finish. I'm very happy to have won such a tough stage. It's a great victory for both the team and myself. Today's stage couldn't have gone better”, says Peter Sagan, who won the sprint in a decimated peloton.

 

“I have to thank [Alberto Contador] because it was not so much a surprise as a pleasure so see someone like Alberto working on the climb to drop the other sprinters, or at least to break up the group. Then my other team mates rode hard for the final 80km.

 

“I don’t know about frustrating. All these second places, I wanted to win. but I don’t know how many 2nd places I did. [Q: 15.] That’s a lot! It would have been a lot of first places. But I take it as experience. Life is like that. Sometimes up, sometimes down. It’s OK.

 

“After the fall in Qatar, I had some bad grazes, but I was OK to ride, and I felt good. Oman was very hot, and I don’t like it when it is that hot, although it was good for my condition. I didn’t feel 100% at [Strade Bianche] Eroica [Pro], but I’ve felt good enough to win here at Tirreno Adriatico. At Arezzo I had the legs to win but I made a mistake at the end. But it’s important to think about the future, not the past.

“Contracts are drawn up on the basis of results. I think I’ve achieved a lot in the past four years. You don’t reach the top in cycling, and get a big contract, by chance. You have to deserve it. I’m riding for a new team, I’m happy with today’s win, but I want much more from this season, and I think the team does too. But we riders put pressure on ourselves. It doesn’t come from anyone else.”
 
Stage 6 of 210km from Rieti took the riders through challenging weather conditions with rain and wind to the seaside town of Porto Sant’Elpidio. Tinkoff-Saxo took to the front of the field with 80km to go after recognizing that several teams were in difficulties. Steven de Jongh explains:
 
“Today was a very hard stage for the riders, and we had rain from the start, while climbing to 1,000m altitude along the way. It was very, very cold and a lot of the other teams were struggling with the weather. We saw riders all over the place and at one point Bjarne Riis took the decision that we were going to make the race hard on the climb with 80km to go, to drop as many riders as possible”.
 
“The riders agreed and they did their best all the way to the finish line. When we came down from the climb, Mollema, who had been dropped, came back, but Cavendish was nowhere to be seen and Peter ultimately won a great victory thanks to the team”, comments Steven de Jongh.
 
In the final part of the stage into the rain-soaked finish line in Porto Sant’Elpidio, Matteo Tosatto worked hard to keep Peter Sagan positioned at the front of the select group of riders. Peter Sagan opened his sprint with 150m to go in a final burst for the line beating Gerald Ciolek

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