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“I think this victory is good for everybody, for me and for the team. I’ve been a pro for six years and perhaps it’s getting more difficult to win, as everybody is looking to me in the finales unlike my first years."

Photo: Tinkoff - Saxo

PETER SAGAN

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TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

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14.05.2015 @ 12:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan broke the trend of second places by winning stage 4 in Tour of California proving that he is indeed in his element when racing in the sunshine state, where he has now won 12 stages. In the final sprint, Sagan beat Wippert and Cavendish to the line.
 
After crossing the line as winner of stage 4 to Avila Beach, Sagan dedicated his victory to teammate Maciej Bodnar, who had crashed out of the race on stage 3.

“I want to dedicate this victory to Maciej Bodnar because he had a very bad crash and had to go home. Then, I want to thank all my teammates, who did a lot of work in the crosswinds to get me in a position to take this win. In the finish, we lost Bennati due to a flat tire with three kilometers to go, but Breschel, Mørkøv and McCarthy did a very good job in the last two kilometers to bring me to the front, while Cavendish were a bit behind in the last turns”, explains Peter Sagan, who now sits 2nd in the overall GC, 22 seconds down on leader Skujins.
  
After having finished 2nd three days in a row, Sagan showed obvious signs of relief bumping his bike against the tarmac, as he crossed the line. A couple of crowd-pleasing wheelies later, Sagan explained how he had tackled the finale.

“It was a technical sprint and before the final corners I was a bit behind but regained positions in the corners just before the finishing straight. I remember this finish from last year, but it was different back then, where Jens Voigt won. But I knew the corners and I could make sure that I went into the sprint in a good position”, says Sagan, who is now just 1 point away from the green jersey that he has won the last five editions.

Not hiding the fact that the spring season left him wanting more, Sagan says that the win comes at a good time.

“I think this victory is good for everybody, for me and for the team. I’ve been a pro for six years and perhaps it’s getting more difficult to win, as everybody is looking to me in the finales unlike my first years, where I was surprising everybody. Pressure or no pressure, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t, and today I’m just happy to take the victory”, adds Sagan.

Asked about his overall evaluation of the effort and team tactics of the day, Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director Tristan Hoffman states that the team eyed opportunities in the curvy and slightly uphill finale.

“Peter deserved this victory after three second places. We had four riders in the front and the other  teams worked. We couldn't work because we were two riders down and had to save the others for the final. Peter was the fastest today, he worked hard and the entire team worked a lot for him since the first day. He is in good condition but he was missing that little luck to take the win. Today's very technical final with corners suited him very well given his strong bike-handling skills ”, comments Tinkoff-Saxo's leading DS in California.

"Tomorrow we face another tough stage, nothing crazy but up and down all day.  If we can get to the finish with him he will again get the support but we aren't sure how willing the other teams are in order to keep it together. Today it was perfect, with a small group in the front and they controlled all the time. Maybe it's another day with a breakaway and we will try to keep it together because Peter is our best option to win. If we can get him in a position to get another victory we will fight hard for it", concludes Tristan Hoffman.

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