Cannondale leader survives in the hills to pull on the green jersey
After his former teammate and friend Vincenzo Nibali pulled on the Tour de France leader's jersey, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was next on the podium to don the green jersey as he continued his progression towards winning the points competition for a third consecutive year.
Sagan finished second on stage 1 to Harrogate on Saturday and was fourth in Sheffield, giving him a total of 69 points. He already leads Marcel Kittel by 24 points, with another possible rival Bryan Coquard (Europcar) at 22 points. Sagan was happy to be in green and happy to see Nibali in yellow but slightly disappointed to miss out on the stage victory after other riders chased his every move.
Sagan was the fastest rider in the front group of 16 riders that formed after the tough day in the hills of south Yorkshire. However nobody else in the group wanted to let share the work when he tried an audacious attack on a late descent.
"I wanted to win and do better than fourth but when I got away in a small group, nobody wanted to work and come with me in the group. When you're strong, your rivals always ride against you. That makes it harder for me to win and nobody will do a turn with you when you attack," Sagan said.
"I'm happy. I perhaps made a mistake in the last three but I'm happy for Vincenzo, very happy. I didn’t follow him when he attacked. I also knew that if I chased him down, somebody else would have attacked, so I'm happy he won."
Sagan and Nibali raced together at the Liquigas team before Nibali moved to Astana. They have swapped favours as teammates and on rival teams. Cannondale could prove to be a useful ally for Nibali later in the Tour de France, too.
"He's helped a lot of times in the past, at Tirreno-Adriatico when I won and I can remember at the Tour of Oman too. We're friends. I'm happy for him," Sagan said.
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