A photographic timeline from Liège to Paris
He rode his first grand tour at the Vuelta a Espana at the end of last year as a second-year professional, won three stages, competed at the world championships and then rode the Tour of Beijing - winning a stage. He’s only 22-years-old and yet there was little doubt he would succeed in taking at least one stage at the Tour this year. Not many young riders are filled with such promise and actually deliver.
This year he cleaned up at the Tour of California, taking five stages throughout the week including repeating his win in 2010 on the difficult stage up to Big Bear Lake. Shortly after California he arrived at Tour de Suisse, won the opening prologue, took out three additional stages and the Points Classification. A week before the Tour he successfully defended his national Slovakian road race title. Sagan’s riding a wave of fantastic form this season but will it hold over the next three testing weeks?
Sagan put the disappointment of his opening Tour prologue behind him and quickly went to work in the finale of Stage 1, following Fabian Cancellara’s (RadioShack-Nissan) attack before waiting patiently for the time to strike. It wasn’t a day designed for the sprinters but Sagan is so young, we are yet to know what he can actually do, or not do. We discovered on Stage 3, that it was just the start.
He may lack the experience and speed for a dedicated bunch sprint but expect him to finish near the front on these days while picking up valuable intermediate sprint points on some of the tougher stages.
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