On a day that looked like witnessing the end of Peter Sagan's (Cannondale) Tour de France stage win drought turned into a downpour for all the wrong reasons as the Slovakian national champion was derailed by a final three kilometre crash on the road to Bergerac. It is now 385 days since Sagan last won a stage at the Tour.
A successful late attack by Ramūnas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) disrupted the peloton which was preparing for a bunch sprint when the crash brought down the fast men who had managed to make it over the final climb of the day.
"I was in ninth position at three km to go, a very good position, but while I was exiting from the turn my wheel slid on the wet road and I fell down," a disappointed Sagan said after the stage. "I don't know why I've crashed.
"I have few bruises on the right side of my body but I'm ok. I didn't break anything and this is good. This Tour de France for me is simply very unlucky. Today was a very good chance, I wanted to do my best but I crashed. "
Stage 19 was the day that many predicted would see Sagan add to his four career stage wins at the Tour, and first for 2014, but as the green jersey holder explained, it wasn't to be.
"I couldn't stop anymore," he said. "I was the first to crash. I'm not hurt. I just felt I fell on old injuries. But there's nothing bad."
Sagan has nine top-five finishes at this year's Tour which has seen him amass a commanding total of 417 points in the green jersey points classification but after claiming three stage wins in 2012 and one in 2013, the Slovakian national champion would hoping that he would reverse that downward trend and add numerous stages to his palmares this year instead.
"Really, I don't know what say more," Sagan added. "I already said: it's just my destiny, this are cycling races - maybe next year I'll win ten stages, but now I have to accept this."
With the green jersey all but wrapped up for a thirds consecutive year, Sagan added that a win in Paris on Sunday would be nice but it isn't his primary aim.
"I hope to make it to Paris, with the green jersey, which was my goal at this Tour de France. I know there's another chance in Paris, but before to think about it I want to recover from today's crash."
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