Sa­gan dashes to stage win No. 8

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By John Le­ices­ter

LONGWY, FRANCE» Shak­ing off an equip­ment glitch in the fu­ri­ous fin­ish­ing sprint, Peter Sa­gan bagged his eighth ca­reer Tour de France stage vic­tory on Mon­day with an im­pres­sive dis­play of power and quick­think­ing on a short, sharp fi­nal up­hill dash.

Geraint Thomas of Team Sky re­tained the yel­low jersey he’s held since the open­ing stage in Ger­many, as the race swung into France, to the for­mer steel town of Longwy. But he is not plan­ning to hold on to it for­ever: The team’s goal is for three-time cham­pion Chris Froome to be wear­ing the jersey when the Tour rolls into Paris on July 23.

Thomas and Froome got through Stage 3 un­scathed, the main goal for them and oth­ers eye­ing over­all vic­tory rather than stage wins.

The pack of rid­ers stretched like a piece of string into sin­gle file on the fast, wind­ing down­hill into Longwy be­fore the fi­nal climb on Nuns’ Hill that seemed tai­lor-made for the strengths of Sa­gan, the world cham­pion.

Aus­tralian rider Richie Porte, a con­tender for over­all vic­tory, showed he’s in fear­some form by pow­er­ing away from the pack in the first stages of the climb. But Sa­gan was watch­ing closely be­hind him and never let Porte get too far ahead.

Sa­gan seemed to be cruis­ing to vic­tory un­til his right foot slipped from his pedal in the last few hun­dred me­ters.

“I said to my­self, ‘What’s hap­pen­ing?’ ” the Slo­vak star of the Ger­man Bo­raHans­grohe team said.

But he quickly re­cov­ered with­out los­ing speed, clip­ping his foot back into place and hold­ing off to the line Michael Matthews, an Aus­tralian with Sun­web, and Dan Martin, an Ir­ish­man with Quick­step.

Froome was ninth on the stage, show­ing no ap­par­ent side ef­fects from a crash on wet roads Sun­day that shaved skin off his but­tocks. He moved up from sixth to sec­ond over­all, 12 sec­onds be­hind Thomas.

Porte fin­ished the stage in the same group as Froome and Thomas — two sec­onds be­hind Sa­gan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.