Sagan Nabs 12th Tour de France Stage Win of His Career
- Peter Sagan won Stage 5 of the Tour de France.
- It’s his first stage victory at the Tour this year, but the 12th of his career.
- Sagan also extended his lead in the Points Classification, while Julian Alaphilippe defended his yellow jersey.
After four days without winning a stage, Peter Sagan took his first clear victory at the 2019 Tour de France on Wednesday.
The Slovak reserved enough strength in the hills of the Alsace region on Stage 5 to prevail in a bunch sprint to the finish, the kind of scenario where he tends to excel.
From 150 metres out, he went full gas and sailed comfortably over the line in front of Wout van Aert and Matteo Trentin, who placed second and third, after a 169K ride through the Vosges that saw riders tackle four categorised climbs.
“We controlled the race the whole day, on the flat part and into the finish,” Sagan, of team Bora–Hansgrohe, told reporters after the stage. “I did my best.”
Sagan also extended his lead in the Points Classification, now sitting 47 points over Michael Matthews and 52 points over Stage 4 winner Elia Viviani.
Sagan, 29, currently holds six green jerseys from the Tour de France, tying him with Erik Zabel for the most of all time. If he defends his spot in the Points competition through the end of the 2019 Tour, he’ll earn a record-breaking seventh green jersey.
Julian Alaphilippe, who placed 10th on the stage, continues to lead the General Classification and will wear the yellow jersey for at least another day. But van Aert, second in the overall rankings, put six seconds into his lead thanks to time bonuses awarded at the end of the stage.
Other than that, not much changed on the GC. Ineos’s Egan Bernal and returning champion Geraint Thomas kept their positions in sixth and seventh, while Sagan’s winning ride moved him up to ninth place overall. Tim Wellens kept polka dots in the King of the Mountains competition, and van Aert remains at the top of the Best Younger Rider rankings.
Tomorrow, riders will embark on their first real mountain test, as Stage 6 brings a summit finish on the famed La Planche des Belles Filles.
“My legs are killing me,” Alaphilippe, who took the overall lead on Monday with a gun-slinging offensive from 15K, said after Stage 5. “Tomorrow is going to be a huge test, for me and everyone.”