Peter Sagan let out a loud "Arrggggh!" as he climbed on the Bora-Hansgrohe bus beyond the finish line of stage 1 of the Tour de France, venting his anger and frustration at missing out on victory and especially the first leader's yellow jersey.
Sagan has won 11 stages at the Tour de France and six green points jerseys but wanted another moment in yellow jersey after three days in 2016 and one last year. This time he could perhaps see the yellow jersey hanging in front of him as the finish line in Brussels approached, but then Mike Teunissen produced the sprint of his life, came up alongside Sagan and beat him with a better-timed bike throw.
Post-race, Sagan took time to calm down, shower, watch a television reply of the sprint and try to find the positive aspect to his performance.
"What can I do?" Sagan said when it was suggested he lost by just a few centimetres.
"I'm very happy I won the intermediate sprint and finished second on the stage, now we're equal 50-50 with Teunissen in the points in the green jersey I think I can see this stage is a positive way.
"It could have ended differently but it was a pretty hard sprint. I think a lot of sprinters just ran out of legs. Somebody who was working for a sprinter, he saw the opportunity and took it. It's nice for him.
"It's only the first day and I think I started the Tour pretty well. I'm happy I didn't crash, so it was a good stage."
And that scream of frustration on the bus? Sagan took a second before talking about it.
"Well… Everything on the bus stays in the bus… Sometimes maybe not," he joked.
Sagan's entourage was not worried by Sagan's rare show of frustration, seeing it as a sign of his hunger and determination to win. Sagan clearly wanted the yellow jersey.
"I'm happy to hear he was disappointed," Patxi Vila, Sagan's coach and directeur sportif told Cyclingnews.
"It's a good sign. Anyone who has ever raced knows what you feel when it's close like that and you lose. It was just a couple of centimetres between winning and finishing second. If we look for the positives, including the points we scored and the general performance of the team, it was still a good day.
"I think Peter's shape is there and if he keeps doing what he normally does, the wins will arrive. Tactically and technically, he was close to perfection but it's racing, we're not alone out there. We wanted to win but we have to be happy with second for now."
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