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"Overall, it was a good stage and I could, probably, have finished in a better position but we did our best and we are satisfied with the result. Tomorrow's shorter time-trial suits me better and I will certainly try to take the ye...

Photo: Tinkoff - Saxo

PETER SAGAN

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TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

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15.05.2015 @ 12:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan finished on the podium for the fifth time out of five possible. The team leader was third in the sprint behind winner Mark Cavendish in a finale affected by heavy showers. Sitting in 2nd place in the GC, Sagan will aim for yellow on the altered ITT on stage 6.
 
Crossing the line in Santa Clarita after a fast chase in the rain, Peter Sagan notes that he is content with the outcome and will direct his focus towards the individual time trial.
 
"I'd like to thank my teammates for their hard work today, we pulled at the front during the whole day, at times with other teams. It was raining in some parts of the stage but the heaviest rainfall took place on the last 20km and the colder temperatures made it even tougher. Overall, it was a good stage and I could, probably, have finished in a better position but we did our best and we are satisfied with the result. Tomorrow's shorter time-trial suits me better and I will certainly try to take the yellow jersey", comments Peter Sagan, who is now 18 seconds from the overall race lead.

The 154km stage 5 from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita saw a small breakaway keeping the peloton at bay until it was reeled in a few kilometers from the finish line. Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director Patxi Vila says it took great commitment to ensure a sprint decision and good run-in towards the line.
 
"We had a good day and following yesterday's victory the plan was to get to the sprint with Peter. We had a clear plan from the beginning and we discussed that with the guys prior to the start. The plan was to work with three to five riders and then work together with Hincapie and Etixx in order to bring the peloton to the sprint. The race turned out exactly as planned and it took a big commitment from the entire squad to bring Peter to the final. Jesús Hernández pulled during the entire race, something that is very different from what he is used to do, given his characteristics as a rider”, explains Patxi Vila.
 
In the final sprint, Peter Sagan was delivered in a position on the wheel of stage favorite Mark Cavendish. Although the Slovak champion came fast on the final 50 meters, Cavendish proved the fastest in front of Giant-Alpecin’s Zico Waeytens with Sagan in third.
 
“The commitment of the team and final result clearly shows we are all here with the clear goal of supporting Peter. In the lead-out, Matti Breschel, Daniele Bennati and Michael Mørkøv did a good job for Peter who was well positioned, sitting on the wheel of Cavendish. However, it was Cavendish who was the strongest. I think we did what we had to do”, asserts Patxi Vila.

Due to the adverse weather conditions expected Friday with a snowfall of nearly 20cm, the scheduled 24.2k ITT at an altitude of 2000 meters has been replaced with a shorter one, where Peter Sagan will try to aim for the GC. The new ITT of just 10km will start at the theme park Six Flags Magic Mountain and will go through the city of Santa Clarita on a completely flat and urban course.
 
“In what regards Friday's stage it has been replaced by a shorter one, 10km instead of more than 20km, which is better suited to Peter. Twenty kilometers could be a bit too long for him, but the shorter one is, where he can perform well. The yellow jersey isn't so far and he will certainly give his best to try to reach it”, concludes Patxi Vila.

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