Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan claimed second place on stage 13 to Rodez, where he extended his lead in the points classification to 24 points after a punchy 570m finishing climb. Just missing out on the win behind Greg Van Avermaet, Sagan notes that he is grateful for his teammates’ effort but found himself wanting the stage win.
Crossing the line in Rodez after a flat-out battle between the fast guys, Peter Sagan assesses that he made a mistake on the final part of the 570m finishing climb of 9.7 percent.
“It was my mistake because I was waiting for too long and when we came near the top I was in the wheel of Van Avermaet but I should have continued to push out of the saddle. I could have won but I should have continued past him, when I came to his wheel. I want to thank all my teammates for the effort they put today for me”, says Sagan before adding:
“It was a very hard finish and I waited too long as I started a bit down but then I came to the wheel of Greg and I stayed there. I should have continued and in the final meters I didn’t have the power. I took points for the green jersey but I really want to win a stage for the team, my teammates and myself”.
"I've increased my lead in the green jersey classification but that wasn't my priority today. I also want victories."
Stage 13 from Muret to Rodez took the riders 198.5km under a scorching sun that sent the temperature soaring at around 40 degrees. Alberto Contador, team captain, states that he believes in teammate Peter Sagan and his chances for the coming days.
“In these stages it’s important that the team works well. Today it was a good day for us. In the finale, the team did a good job. Peter stayed near the front and had to ride exposed to the wind. Still, he was so close at the finish line. Maybe he didn’t win but he took some points. He has been fighting from the start of the Tour and I hope, or better said I’m sure the well-deserved victory will come another day. Of course it’s frustrating that we didn’t win but we also spent energy in the intermediate sprint. Peter cannot do more than he’s already doing, he is incredible and he also works hard for me”, says Contador and adds about his race for the GC:
“It’s going to be hard to beat Froome, head to head it will be hard, but we need to see what will happen if the other teams also attack from a long distance. If we wait until the last climb, it will be too difficult to make up time. But in this moment, I need to go day by day and recover after these many hot days and I will see what my legs can do in the Alps”.
Steven de Jongh, Head Sports Director, asserts that Sagan will get more chances in the coming days.
“We still have three days of transition left between the Pyrenees and the Alps and Peter will surely get the opportunity again. Of course we are disappointed today. Peter rode really well, so did the whole team. He really wants that stage win and he came really close today. It was a very hot day with sections of 40 degrees and we took our responsibility in chasing down the break. Peter came to the steep uphill sprint in a good position, but had to close a gap to Van Avermaet and in the final hundred meters he didn’t have the energy to go past”, finishes Steven de Jongh.
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