Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan was half a wheel from taking another stage win in Tour de Suisse but had to settle for second after he was blocked off the wheel of his lead-out man Daniele Bennati. Although Sagan made up considerable ground on the final 100 meters, the gap to stage winner Kristoff proved too costly. “Frustrating for Peter and the team, but that's bike racing”, comments DS Sean Yates.
In the wake of stage 7, Peter Sagan says that his teammates had performed flawlessly.
“Today our team tried to control the stage. We let a group of five riders break away and then we led the peloton all day. In the final part of the stage it was up and down and we went at a high pace to tire the sprinters. In the finale, I let myself get closed in and I didn't manage to make up the meters I lost to Kristoff. I am angry and it's my fault. I must thank the team because everything went 100 percent well apart from my finish”, comments Peter Sagan.
Stage 7 from Biel to Düdingen consisted of 164.4km with the riders finishing off the stage with two longer local laps in lumpy terrain. After catching the last rider from the early breakaway within the final kilometer, Daniele Bennati went to the front in the gradual uphill finish.
Peter Sagan sat firmly in his wheel, when José Joaquín Rojas (MOV) barged in and effectively cut Sagan off from launching his sprint, as Kristoff opened up. The Tinkoff-Saxo captain managed to make up considerable ground but fell half a wheel short of the stage win. Sean Yates, Tinkoff-Saxo sports director, elaborates on the stage finish.
“The boys did everything right today with Bennati starting his lead-out at the right time. Unfortunately Peter was cut off in the final sprint. There’s no doubt that Rojas’ move cost us the win. He muscled in but clearly didn’t have the legs. If a rider hasn’t got the legs, he shouldn’t barge in on a team’s lead-out. So it’s of course frustrating because we took the initiative on the whole stage with only Katusha showing interest in catching the breakaway”, says Sean Yates before concluding:
“It just didn’t pan out and Peter was naturally frustrated after the stage. He knows he shouldn’t have let him into the wheel of Bennati but there will always be cut and fuzz at the pointy end of any race. We’ll most definitely try again tomorrow, that’s bike racing and our ambition will be see same as that of today”.
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