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"I’m very happy and relieved as it was so close right until the end. I never would have thought that I could have won the GC, when I started the race so it’s also a surprise for me."

Photo: Tinkoff - Saxo

PETER SAGAN

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
18.05.2015 @ 07:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s team leader Peter Sagan secures overall victory at Amgen Tour of California after a sprint finale worth a Hollywood drama. Finishing third by a few millimeters was enough to secure the bonus seconds needed to regain the top spot. “At first I didn’t believe it”, says Peter Sagan, who takes the one of the biggest GC wins of his career.
 
Before the stage, Peter Sagan had to finish at least 3rd and ahead of leader Julian Alaphilippe to surpass him in the GC. Equally Sagan had to try to make up time in the intermediate sprints and avoid losing seconds to Alaphilippe. Five meters before the finish line he was 4th, but throwing his bike forward in the last moment, he gained the millimeters on sprinter Tyler Farrar needed to conquer the sunshine state.
 
“I’m very happy, and I want to pay a big thanks to all my teammates for doing an incredible job. We lost two riders on the third stage, as Michael Kolar had allergy while Maciej Bodnar suffered a bad crash. I’m very happy and relieved as it was so close right until the end. I never would have thought that I could have won the GC, when I started the race so it’s also a surprise for me”, says Peter Sagan and adds about the minutes just after the finale of stage 8:
 
“After the finish I didn’t know if I was third or fourth and I had to wait. My soigneur came running to me and yelled “you’re third, you’re third” and I asked him several times, if he was sure and then the race organizers confirmed it to me three times and in the end I believed them. I am very pleased”, says Peter Sagan.

The race finale was affected by multiple attacks and a dedicated effort from Etixx-Quickstep to secure Alaphilippe’s position. After having received the yellow jersey on the final podium of Amgen Tour of California 2015, Sagan adds that the finale was all or nothing.
 
“I didn’t have any further strategy in the final sprint, and I just had to go for it, it’s not just Tinkoff-Saxo and Etixx-Quikstep as there were many others trying to get a result and we had to pay attention to many factors and teams today in order for us to secure this win”.
 
Asked about his overall experience at Tour of California, Sagan notes that it required a consistent effort all the way, while the queen stage to Mt. Baldy was in a category of its own.
 
“All the stages have been incredible and especially yesterday on the queen stage to Mt. Baldy, where I must admit that I felt really good and had to dig really deep. For me the last kilometers yesterday on Baldy were so hard, my legs were burning but I had to continue on the climb, as I knew that it was still within reach of Alaphilippe”, explains Sagan before adding:
 
“I believed that I could do it. I don’t know if it was the hardest effort that I’ve ever done, but it was tough. It was just 129k, while the Classics for instance are much longer and drain your energy slowly. But yes, yesterday I was in pain almost throwing up. But now everything is OK”, finishes the winner of Tour of California with a big smile.

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