Tour de France: Sagan finally takes a stage win in Albi

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) broke his run of second places to win stage 7 of the Tour de France into Albi. There was no elaborate victory celebration, as the Slovak was just relieved to finally get off the mark at this Tour.

Sagan has had to settle for three second places to date, but he repaid his team’s efforts to beat John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) in the sprint with Daniele Bennati (Saxo-Tinkoff) in third. He has extended his lead in the green jersey competition over André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) to 94 points.

The Cannondale rider was clearly overjoyed with his victory. “I feel very good,” he said at the finish. “I’m very happy and I have to thank my team because I couldn’t do what I did without my team. This victory is for all of the team. I’m very happy because I didn’t feel very good after the crash on the first stage but day by day I’m feeling better and now I’m really happy to have my first stage win of this Tour de France.”

While it was, as anticipated, a sprint finish, many of the marquee names were missing in the finale in Albi. Cannondale took to the front on the second climb of the day, the Col de la Croix de Mounis, and blew most of the fast men out of the back of the peloton. Despite the best efforts of their teams, they sat up after the final climb of the day, and Greipel and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) crossed the line more than 14 minutes behind Sagan.

Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) finished safely inside the peloton to keep his yellow jersey for another day. All of the big favourites finished in the front group and there was no change in the top 10.

As it happened

The temperature was once again high as the riders rolled out, and so was the pace. The peloton exceeded the 60kph barrier on a number of occasions. There was an early break of six riders, including Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Leopard), but they only managed to get 10 seconds up the road before being caught. Not to be deterred, Voigt was once again on the attack shortly afterwards. This time he only had one companion in Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who was also in the initial break attempt, and theirs would prove to be the big break of the day.

As the pair began to build a lead, there was a crash back in the peloton involving Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), and a number of other riders. Vande Velde was already suffering injuries from his crash on the road to Marseille two days ago, and this second knock proved too much and the American abandoned the race. Surely not the way he wanted to end his final Tour de France.

With 10 points available in the mountains classification, Kadri had a chance to steal the lead in the competition, as he started the day in third in the fight for the polka-dot jersey with five points, after his break on the second day. Voigt seemed happy to let his fellow escapee take the points on the top of the climbs. Aware of the danger, Pierre Rolland (Europcar) went on the attack on the second climb of the day. His challenge was usurped by Kadri’s team-mate Romain Bardet. The Ag2r rider beat Rolland into third spot, allowing Kadri to lead the mountain’s classification by a single point and take the polka-dot jersey for the following day.

As the terrain got tougher, Cannondale took to the front and began to close the gap on the two leaders. Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was one of several to fall foul of the increase in pace on the Croix de Mounis and was dropped. Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Matt Goss were also dropped. With 94km to go the leading pair were caught, but the sprinters and their teams were still off the back.

Despite the combined efforts of Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Argos-Shimano struggled to close the gap on the ridge that followed the climb, as Cannondale continued to force the pace up front. After giving chase for more than an hour, they sat up inside the final 40 kilometres. With most of the fast men dispatched, Sagan was easily able to take the intermediate sprint points after 135km.

Former yellow jersey holder and stage 2 winner Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Leopard) decided that this was his time to attack. He was followed by Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Juan José Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi). The trio built a maximum lead of 1:04 minutes, with Bakelants becoming the virtual leader at one stage, as he trailed Impey by just 33 seconds on GC. With the yellow jersey at risk, Orica-GreenEDGE gradually began to commit more riders to Cannondale’s chase and the three escapees were finally caught inside the final three kilometres.

All of Cannondale’s work nearly came undone as Sagan misjudged a corner heading through a roundabout in the finale. The error was soon forgotten, however, as Sagan powered to the finish. The Slovak hid in the slipstream of Degenkolb, before popping out at the last moment and taking victory.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling4:54:12
2John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 1 - Cell 2
3Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 3 - Cell 2
5Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack LeopardRow 6 - Cell 2
8Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.frRow 7 - Cell 2
9Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 9 - Cell 2
11Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-SharpRow 10 - Cell 2
12Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 11 - Cell 2
13Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) SojasunRow 13 - Cell 2
15Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 18 - Cell 2
20Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 21 - Cell 2
23Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 25 - Cell 2
27Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 26 - Cell 2
28Julien El Fares (Fra) SojasunRow 27 - Cell 2
29Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 28 - Cell 2
30Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 29 - Cell 2
31Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 30 - Cell 2
32Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 31 - Cell 2
33Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 32 - Cell 2
34Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 33 - Cell 2
35Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 34 - Cell 2
36Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 35 - Cell 2
37Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 36 - Cell 2
38Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 37 - Cell 2
39Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 39 - Cell 2
41Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 40 - Cell 2
42Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 41 - Cell 2
43Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 42 - Cell 2
44Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 43 - Cell 2
45Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 47 - Cell 2
49Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) KatushaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Eduard Vorganov (Rus) KatushaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team EuropcarRow 54 - Cell 2
56Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-SharpRow 55 - Cell 2
57Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 58 - Cell 2
60Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 59 - Cell 2
61Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 60 - Cell 2
62Maxime Mederel (Fra) SojasunRow 61 - Cell 2
63Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 63 - Cell 2
65Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.frRow 64 - Cell 2
66Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 65 - Cell 2
67Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 66 - Cell 2
68Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 67 - Cell 2
69Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-SharpRow 69 - Cell 2
71Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 71 - Cell 2
73Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 72 - Cell 2
74Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 73 - Cell 2
75Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
76Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 77 - Cell 2
79Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 78 - Cell 2
80Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 79 - Cell 2
81Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) KatushaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 81 - Cell 2
83Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 84 - Cell 2
86Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 85 - Cell 2
87Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ.frRow 86 - Cell 2
88Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 87 - Cell 2
89Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 88 - Cell 2
90Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) KatushaRow 89 - Cell 2
91Yury Trofimov (Rus) KatushaRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 91 - Cell 2
93Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 92 - Cell 2
94Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:19
96Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:24
97Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:29
98Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:30
99Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:33
100David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp0:01:24
101Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 100 - Cell 2
102Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:35
103Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 102 - Cell 2
104Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp0:03:47
105Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:14:53
106Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 105 - Cell 2
107Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 106 - Cell 2
108Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto BelisolRow 107 - Cell 2
109Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto BelisolRow 108 - Cell 2
110Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111André Greipel (Ger) Lotto BelisolRow 110 - Cell 2
112Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 112 - Cell 2
114José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
115Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 114 - Cell 2
116Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 115 - Cell 2
117Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 116 - Cell 2
118Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 118 - Cell 2
120Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 119 - Cell 2
121Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
122Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 121 - Cell 2
123Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 122 - Cell 2
124Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto BelisolRow 123 - Cell 2
125Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) KatushaRow 124 - Cell 2
126Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 125 - Cell 2
127Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
128Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 127 - Cell 2
129Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 128 - Cell 2
130Anthony Delaplace (Fra) SojasunRow 129 - Cell 2
131David Veilleux (Can) Team EuropcarRow 130 - Cell 2
132Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 131 - Cell 2
133Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 132 - Cell 2
134Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 133 - Cell 2
135Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 134 - Cell 2
136Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 135 - Cell 2
137Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 136 - Cell 2
138Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
140Gatis Smukulis (Lat) KatushaRow 139 - Cell 2
141David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 140 - Cell 2
142William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.frRow 141 - Cell 2
143Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 142 - Cell 2
144Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 143 - Cell 2
145Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.frRow 144 - Cell 2
146Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.frRow 145 - Cell 2
147Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 146 - Cell 2
148Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 147 - Cell 2
149Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 148 - Cell 2
150Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 149 - Cell 2
151Jonathan Hivert (Fra) SojasunRow 150 - Cell 2
152Alexander Kristoff (Nor) KatushaRow 151 - Cell 2
153Julien Simon (Fra) SojasunRow 152 - Cell 2
154Cyril Lemoine (Fra) SojasunRow 153 - Cell 2
155Pavel Brutt (Rus) KatushaRow 154 - Cell 2
156Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 155 - Cell 2
157Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 156 - Cell 2
158Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 157 - Cell 2
159Yohann Gene (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 158 - Cell 2
160Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 159 - Cell 2
161Kévin Reza (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 160 - Cell 2
162Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 161 - Cell 2
163Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 162 - Cell 2
164Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) SojasunRow 163 - Cell 2
165Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 164 - Cell 2
166Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 165 - Cell 2
167Brice Feillu (Fra) SojasunRow 166 - Cell 2
168Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 167 - Cell 2
169Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 168 - Cell 2
170Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 169 - Cell 2
171Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp