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Peter Sagan beats Geraint Thomas to win Shanghai Criterium

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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) celebrates winning the Shanghai Criterium

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) celebrates winning the Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The peloton speeds through a corner

The peloton speeds through a corner
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas lined up with his Team Sky teammates

Geraint Thomas lined up with his Team Sky teammates
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) speaks pre-race

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) speaks pre-race
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) waves to the crowd

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) waves to the crowd
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) wins an intermediate sprint

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) wins an intermediate sprint
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) goes on the attack

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) goes on the attack
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) tries to touch a drone

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) tries to touch a drone
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Didi the devil was also in Shanghai for the Tour de France criterium

Didi the devil was also in Shanghai for the Tour de France criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Trentin, Kittel, Sagan and Latour on the Shanghai podium

Trentin, Kittel, Sagan and Latour on the Shanghai podium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Pierre Latour takes centre stage with his AG2R La Mondiale teammates

Pierre Latour takes centre stage with his AG2R La Mondiale teammates
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The devil was on hand for the race

The devil was on hand for the race
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The riders line-up for the start of the 2018 Shanghai Criterium

The riders line-up for the start of the 2018 Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The crowds were out in Shanghai

The crowds were out in Shanghai
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Marcel Kittel poses for a selfie

Marcel Kittel poses for a selfie
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The Mitchelton-Scott team on stage

The Mitchelton-Scott team on stage
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marcel Kittel lead the Katusha-Alpecin team

Marcel Kittel lead the Katusha-Alpecin team
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Owain Doull (Team Sky) leads the peloton

Owain Doull (Team Sky) leads the peloton
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The flag drops for the start of the 2018 Shanghai Criterium

The flag drops for the start of the 2018 Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) leads the chase

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) leads the chase
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) was also in Shanghai

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) was also in Shanghai
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The riders at speed

The riders at speed
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) leads the decisive attack

Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) leads the decisive attack
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) leads into a corner

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) leads into a corner
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) leads into a corner

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) leads into a corner
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) squeezed into a Tour de FRance skinsuit for the criterium in Shanghai

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) squeezed into a Tour de FRance skinsuit for the criterium in Shanghai
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) raises his arms in celebration at the Shanghai Criterium

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) raises his arms in celebration at the Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) kicks clear in the Shanghai Criterium

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) kicks clear in the Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) celebrates victory at the Shanghai Criterium

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) celebrates victory at the Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan on the top step of the Shanghai Criterium

Peter Sagan on the top step of the Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The final podium of the 2018 Shanghai Criterium

The final podium of the 2018 Shanghai Criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the Shanghai Tour de France exhibition criterium in China on Saturday, beating Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and European champion Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) after the three broke away from the rest of the peloton.

Thomas tried to lead out the sprint but Sagan dived to the front before the final corner, opened a gap and was able to celebrate with his arms in the air. Sagan raced in the green points jersey he won at the Tour de France, with Thomas racing in the yellow jersey he won in July.

Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) won the best young rider prize just as he did at the Tour de France, while Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) won the points competition, while Mitchelton-Scott were best team.

How it happened

The Shanghai roller coaster is no place for distractions! This is the golden rule of races on dynamic circuits, particularly when points are up for grabs every four laps.

A group of six riders, including Romain Bardet, Wang Meiyin, Nils Politt and Daniel Oss, formed the early attack of the race. However, the peloton never conceded more than 20 seconds and reeled them in on the fifth lap, only for a new five-man group to launch a counter-attack.

Marcel Kittel nabbed the points on offer at the second intermediate sprint, capitalising on the absence of green jersey Peter Sagan. The German sprinter, who went home empty-handed from the Grande Boucle, was eager to make amends in China by taking the points classification.

Bardet surged again from the leading group with a counter-attack that caught the eye of the jury of the combativity prize. However the race all came back together on lap 16 of 20.

An important quartet broke away from the peloton with ten kilometres to go, with Geraint Thomas, Peter Sagan, Pierre Latour and Matteo Trentin joining forces.

The yellow jersey kicked it up a notch with just over two laps to go, dropping the white jersey, setting up a three-way sprint.

Trentin was hoping for another win but Peter Sagan pre-empted him and accelerated with over 300 metres to go, diving through the last corner and opening a gap.
 

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