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Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
Cannondale rider continues his run of placing in Marseille
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) kept the green points jersey for yet another day at the Tour de France after the high-speed stage 5 sprint in Marseille, but the Slovak rider struggled to consider it as a consolation after finishing third behind Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky).
"Va bene cosi," he said in Italian after pulling on the green jersey. "I'm just glad I didn't crash. I scored some points with third place and I've kept the green jersey, so it's an okay day."
Sagan was ahead of the pile-up in the finishing straight but is still looking for his first victory in this year's Tour de France. He crashed on stage one to Bastia, was second behind Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Leopard) in Ajaccio and was beaten by Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) in Calvi on Monday.
He has a healthy lead in the green jersey competition, with 111 points, while Cavendish is second with 76 points. However Sagan is a natural born winner and wants to celebrate a stage win with one of his special victory salutes.
"It's nice to have the jersey but I want to win stage too. I'm trying every day," he said with a hint of frustration in his voice.
"I'm not perfect after the crash but I'm getting better and better. Hopefully I can win a stage in the next few days. Today's sprint was a bit crazy and was a bit dangerous. Mark Cavendish is the best sprinter in the sport and so it's not easy to beat him. I think I did a good sprint, I didn't lose many points to him, so I have to be happy."
Sagan came from behind with a late surge to take third place. He was on Andre Greipel's wheel after the last sweeping corner but admitted he would have had a better chance of victory if he'd been on Cavendish's wheel.
"Edvald Boasson Hagen was a bit lucky because he was behind Mark, while I did my sprint alone. That's the difference but that's also sprinting," he said.
"Tomorrow is another stage for the sprinters. I hope it will finally go my way."
The 176.5km stage from Ax-en-Provence crosses the north of the Camargue region of southern France and is almost totally flat. The last sweeping corner is three kilometres from the finish and so a fast sprint is expected, with lead out trains again playing a vital role.