Cham­pion Sa­gan wins Saitama Cri­terium

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SAITAMA:

Two-time world cham­pion Peter Sa­gan clinched the Saitama Cri­terium yes­ter­day in a tight sprint fin­ish, edg­ing three-time Tour de France cham­pion Chris Froome into third place. The 26-year-old Slo­vakian, who re­tained his world road race ti­tle ear­lier this month, tweeted it’s a “great feel­ing to win the Saitama Cri­terium,” which was held in Saitama, north of Tokyo. In the fi­nal lap, sprint king Mar­cel Kit­tel, who won the Ja­panese road cir­cuit race in 2014, jumped ahead of Sa­gan, Froome and Ja­panese rider Sho Hat­suyama. Sa­gan and Hat­suyama caught up with Kit­tel be­fore the last stretch to fight in a one-on-one duel, but Sa­gan raced past the lo­cal favourite to cross the fin­ish line. Hat­suyama, how­ever, was not glum over his sec­ond-place fin­ish, say­ing: “I was so ex­cited. It was a very much pre­cious ex­pe­ri­ence for me to race with so many world-class rac­ers.” Froome, who fin­ished ahead of Kit­tel to se­cure the podium, ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to Ja­panese fans, tweet­ing: “Fan­tas­tic sup­port out on the roads of Saitama.” The 62kilo­me­tre (38-mile) race around a 3.1 kilo­me­tre street cir­cuit is or­gan­ised by ASO, the same com­pany that holds Tour de France.—AFP

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