Peter Sagan (Cannondale) continued his consistent sprint finishes at the Tour de France with fifth place on stage six despite not being at 100%. Sagan was feeling the effects of crashing twice in two days as he explained after the finish in Reims.
"Today the most important thing is that I have nothing broken," Sagan said. "Two crashes in two days are not something that makes me happy, but I'm ok. The crash happened during the descent before the intermediate sprint. The road was wet, few riders slid down in front of me and I had to put my foot on the road. Few other riders, who were coming from behind, slid as well and involved me."
Sagan made his way back to the front of the peloton and was in the front group when Omega Pharma-Quick Step split the bunch in the crosswinds.Quick Step's Michał Kwiatkowski launched a late attack under the flamme rouge to disrupt the sprinters trains but when he was reeled in with 150m left, Sagan explained his reserves were empty and could only watch André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) claim the win.
"About the finale... well, there are not many things to say," he said. "Simply, I wasn't able to sprint. I was closed in the bunch and I finished fifth doing nothing, just pedaling.I hope to absorb the bruises I have on my body as soon as possible."
Sagan has led the young riders classification since stage 1 and the points classification since stage 2 and has a 30 point advantage over second-placed Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) and despite finishing 2, 4, 2, 4, 4, and 5, Sagan explained there is still room for lots of improvement at the Tour.
"If I look back to the stages we've done, I have two different feelings," Sagan said as he chases a fifth career Tour stage win. "I have a good advantage in the green points classification, I finished always in the front. On the other side, this is not my first Tour de France, it's my third experience, and my aim is to do better and improve year by year.
"I had the chance to take the yellow jersey and I always get closed to win. Even today I wanted sprint but I had no chance. It's a little frustrating, maybe sometimes I ask too much to myself. But now I just want to keep concentrated and to try again."