World champion Peter Sagan secured his annual Tour de Suisse win Thursday afternoon, increasing his tally to 14. The Slovakian also ensured that since 2011 he won at last one stage at the WorldTour event.
Second to Michael Matthews on stage 2 into Bern, where he won a stage of last year's Tour de France, Sagan was a class above on stage 5 as he powered clear of the peloton inside the finale to claim win number five of 2017. Sagan also introduced a new victory celebration into his repertoire, doing a 'hula dance' as he crossed the line. Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott) and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) had to settle for the minor podium places.
"I'm very happy for this victory because the Bora-Hansgrohe riders really sacrificed themselves today. We went all in at the end of the stage and my teammates got me to the finish," said Sagan. "I'm so happy with this win – it was very good for the team and I couldn't have done it without them.
"It took a little while to get this win - the first road stage was a little mad, with attacks and a really hectic finish, then two days ago it was a good finish but I'd put in a big effort before to get up the final climb. Today was really good for me though. There was a bit of rain but I felt much better in the end and managed to keep my head in the finale."
The win also propelled Sagan into the black sprint classification jersey ahead of race leader Damiano Caruso (BMC) by three points.
Bora-Hansgrohe's directeur sportif André Schulze added that is was pleasing to take the victory after a full day's effort from the team.
"It was a really fast stage today – the breakaway was able to distance themselves after 70km of racing. In the first hours, the pace was around 49km/h, so it was really fast out there. The team did a great job today and showed amazing teamwork," Schulze said. "Jan was in the front of the peloton with Sunweb and Trek to catch the breakaway, and in the finale the team did everything perfectly. In the last 400m, I think everyone could see that Peter was the strongest and he took the win."
With stage 6 suited to the climbers and expected to see a reshuffle of the general classification, Schulze said the team will aim to add another win to its haul with Sagan later in the week. For the mountain stages, the team will be aiming to propel Austrian climber Patrick Konrad to a good result.
"We are all very happy with this victory. In the coming days we are working for Patrick, and on Saturday we'll try it again in the sprint with Peter," he added.