Tour de France, stage 3: the “Sagan show” begins
Photo: Philippe Lopez, Agence France-Presse
Star of the peloton, Peter Sagan has signed his 8th success in the Tour of which he is the non-removable green jersey in Paris since 2012.
Longwy (France) — The “Sagan show” began on Monday in the Tour de France in 2017 by a success of Slovak, acquired by punch on the heights of Longwy where the world champion has won the third stage.
Star of the peloton, Peter Sagan has signed his 8th success in the Tour of which he is the non-removable green jersey in Paris since 2012. And progressed to 4th place in the general classification, 13 seconds behind the British Geraint Thomas.
At the top of the side of the Religious, a climb of 1600 meters to 5.8 % slope, Sagan was ahead of the Australian Michael Matthews, the Irish Dan Martin and olympic champion, the Belgian Greg Van Avermaet.
The world champion has yet shoeless at the time of launch the sprint, 300 metres from the line. “I don’t know why but I restarted and I was able to win,” said Sagan, who has produced a print phenomenal superpower to impose significantly despite Matthews.
In this step, which was beyond a new time bar of 200 kilometres, the crossing of the Grand Duchy, between the departure from Belgium and arrival in France, gave rise to the show become a tradition during the first week of the Tour. The breakaway, which was formed in two phases, brought together this time six riders (Politt, Hansen, Hardy, Smith, Brown, Backaert) to which the platoon was left to a maximum of 4 minutes ahead.
“Door flies this time “
The Sky Thomas and Froome have received the help of other teams as the final promised to be in favour of Sagan, Matthews and punch the belgian, Philippe Gilbert. But the gap is reduced to a minute 60 kilometres from the finish prompted a trio to make the junction and re-start the breakaway.
The three counter-attackers, the French Lilian Calmejane and Pierre-Luc Périchon, the Belgian Thomas De Gendt, entered the French territory (with Hardy), 29 kilometres from the finish, with a minute and a half in advance.
Calmejane, the strongest of the group, insisted until the last ten kilometres. For his debut in the Tour, the Albigensians, who recalls his older brother Thomas Voeckler, has displayed the temperament of a future stage winner.
In the final climb, Richie Porte has accelerated to 500 meters after having passed the highest percentages. Behind the Australian, Sagan has conveniently checked before to be very superior in the sprint.
The final has shown, however, that Door, ” petrified “, according to him, Saturday, in the against-the-shows of Düsseldorf, is always in shape.
“He flies in this moment, he is the main favourite and he showed that he was going to run aggressively,” said Thomas, 8th of the stage. In the standings, the Welsh is now followed at 12 seconds by Chris Froome, his compatriot and leader in team Sky, who crossed the finish line just behind the yellow jersey.
A character in the Tower
In the side of the Religious, Alberto Contador showed him also. But the Spanish remained on the reserve. “I didn’t have enough punch. I thought that if I switched to the attack, I was going to pay, ” said the double winner of the Tour (2007 and 2009).
As for Romain Bardet, he spent an average day, what is the logic in the aftermath of its fall on the road to Cork. The Auvergne, 12th in the stage, has nothing to concede to its rivals, the essential to him, given the circumstances.
“There is nothing played,” said the dauphin Froome in the Tour in 2016, which has preferred to concentrate on the overall quality of the group (white jersey for Pierre Latour) : “We never presented with a team as closely knit. “
In Longwy, Sagan was untouchable. In the city fortified by Vauban, the double champion of the world (2015 and 2016) has picked up his 7th win of the season, its 96th victory according to the statisticians.
With the runner of the German team Bora, who was recruited to the gold price in the offseason, the numbers go crazy, as fast as the fans. But he was not able to reach to the goal this season in the big spring classics, although he had gone very close to victory in Milan-san remo (behind Kwiatkowski).
“I hope it will continue,” said the Slovak with long hair, which has become one of the characters in the Tower at the price of performance, disheveled, a look and a behavior of the star.
Why not as early as Tuesday, on arrival at Vittel ? The 4th step, long 207,5 kilometers, is intended primarily for sprinters. The route through Lorraine, between Mondorf-les-Bains, the town in luxembourg of the Schleck brothers, and Vittel.