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"Then Stybar attacked, where the climb flattened and the group didn’t have the legs. I said to the other riders that I wasn’t going to pull because they were all looking at me."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo / BettiniPhoto

ALBERTO CONTADOR

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PETER SAGAN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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10.07.2015 @ 00:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan took his third 2nd place of this year’s Tour de France on stage 6 to Le Havre. Despite having been caught in a tactical deadlock on the finishing straight behind stage winner Zdenek Stybar, Peter Sagan notes that he was happy with his legs and satisfied with the outcome. Alberto Contador finished safely after having barely avoided the crash within the final kilometer.
 
Yet again, Peter Sagan came close to the stage win in Tour de France and proved himself as one of the strongest, and not least consistent, finishers of this year’s edition so far. Despite taking his fourth top-three, Sagan remained optimistic, as he faced the famous mixed-zone of Le Tour, where journalists in heaps wanted to hear his thoughts on the finish.
 
“Today I demonstrated that I had good legs, but this is the race and today everybody expected me to make a move. You have to stay cool and sometimes things don’t turn out exactly how you want it to and sometimes they do. I didn’t notice the crash, but apparently it happened just behind me. Then Stybar attacked, where the climb flattened and the group didn’t have the legs. I said to the other riders that I wasn’t going to pull because they were all looking at me”, says Peter Sagan before explaining:
 
“If I had gone to the front to pull, I wouldn’t win the sprint. I’m still happy with my second place because it’s still some points for the green jersey, as Greipel wasn’t there. I won in the group, but the tactical situation made it very difficult, everybody knows it’s hard to win in the Tour. My strategy was to be at the front on the final climb and wait for the sprint, but there were nobody to close the gap to Stybar. I won the green jersey for three years in a row and it would be nice to do that again, but it will be difficult for sure.

 

"I lost today because everyone told me that I would win. But it's not easy to win a stage at the Tour de France. When Stybar attacked in the climb, there were no more legs in the group. I waited for a while… and all riders waited with me! I sprinted for second place because Greipel was not there and there were some points to collect. I'm glad that Alberto [Contador] avoided the crash."

 

"The truth is that we must always be careful," Contador said. "There is never room to rest and the final part was a battle between teams. My team was great in what was an incredible battle to be well positioned and then we had the crash on the climb. I'm happy not to have fallen and saved the day. I hope those who crashed will recover.

 

"You can never neglect any stage. In the grand tours tours you have to be focused which is often difficult because you have to be concentrated 100% for 21 days. You can lose time every day.

 

"You never know, I'm sure there will be tension again tomorrow. Everybody fears crashes and it is important to be in front. T hat makes the day complicated."


Stage 6 offered somewhat flat terrain on the route to Le Havre, where the stage was to be decided on the final 1500 meters, where the road kicked up with a gradient of 7% before a flatter finishing straight. Despite a less hectic stage, things heated up in the fight for positioning on the final kilometer, where a big group of riders, including the yellow jersey Tony Martin, were forced to the ground in a crash. Tinkoff-Saxo Head Sport Director Steven de Jongh elaborates:
 
“I think that today was less hectic than the previous days and the boys did a concentrated job once again. Sagan was free to ride for the stage and he showed that he’s in very good condition. He positioned himself very well on the final climb and showed that he had the speed to pull it off today. But Stybar had different plans and he made a very clever move, while the sprinters were waiting for somebody to take responsibility”, tells de Jongh and adds:
 
“Peter was isolated up there in the group following the crash. That’s how it is, as we also have our focus on Alberto, but Katusha had some guys up there but they apparently didn’t want to take control. Peter took 2nd place, it’s a bit of a shame, but with that said, we are very happy that none of our riders were affected by the final crash that unfortunately cost Tony Martin a broken collarbone”.

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