Peter Sagan was once again proactively seeking the win on stage 15 to Valance, as he took part in the breakaway of the day, where he also scored maximum points in the intermediate sprint before being caught by the chasing peloton. In a hectic sprint, Sagan took 4th place behind main green jersey rival André Greipel and now leads the points classification by 44 points.
Peter Sagan took his 10th top five result of this Tour with a fourth place on stage 15. After the stage, Sagan notes that he wanted to pursue his possibilities in the breakaway.
“From the start it was a hard parcours and it all ended in a crazy sprint. I wanted to change my bike from my lighter climbing Specialized Tarmac to my fast new Venge for the sprint but a motorbike with a TV crew got in the way between me and my team car, which slowed down my bike change. Meanwhile the group was going at full speed but my teammates came down and supported me. It was very hectic in the sprint and there was a lot of movement but that’s how it is in a sprint, it’s like a lottery sometimes. I wanted to win today and I tried to go in the breakaway because it had a chance to stay away to the finish”, says Peter Sagan, who now leads the points classification by 44 points.
“Katusha and Europcar were pulling at the front and in the end Greipel won. But nobody from the team crashed or had bad luck so it’s okay. At the finish we had headwind and in the final corner I was too far back. We all know that Greipel is a hard man to beat. It was very hectic in the last 500 meters, where everybody came to the front and I tried to gain positions but Kristoff was in the way and I was fourth. I had hoped that today could have been better but I took some points and it was important that I didn’t crash. Now, we are looking forward to tomorrow and then we have the final rest day”, adds Sagan, while team captain Alberto Contador notes:
"I feel satisfied with the way I raced in this stage, we had a day with no incidents or crashes. There is no doubt it was a hard and tiring stage, as we covered 183km in less than four hours adding up the fatigue of two weeks of racing. This could lead to a surprise in the final week. What I can assure is that I will try to do my best to create situations in the race and achieve something nice”.
Stage 15 of Tour de France featured 183 kilometers, where the final 45km flattened before the sprint into Valence. Entering the last 35 kilometers of the stage Peter Sagan and the team sports directors opted to perform a bike change for the more aerodynamic new Venge, better suited for the fast sprint. However, a motorbike broadcasting the race got in between Sagan and the team car, clearly obstructing the team’s work. In the turmoil, team sports director Sean Yates was suspended for one race day – a decision that Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh accepts however not without noting that the motorbike’s position was in clear violation with the race regulations.
“Peter stopped for the bike change but the TV broadcaster’s motorbike had forced itself in between him and our car and we could not perform the bike shift efficiently. Peter signaled the motorbike three times to continue but without response. The outcome is that Sean can’t participate in the race on stage 16. It is the jury’s decision and we have to respect it. However, it’s imperative to underline that all teams including us must be able to do our work. It’s very clear that motorbikes should stay to the left leaving the riders and teams to perform on the right side. That didn’t happen today, so we hope and expect that this scenario won’t play out again”, comments Steven de Jongh before adding about today’s performance.
“I think the riders did a good race and performed well as a team. Peter was very proactive and made a big effort to ride the stage from the front of the race. He took maximum points in the intermediate sprint before the break was caught on the descent from the final climb. In the sprint he was blocked going into the final 500 meters and ended up a little too far back after that last corner. He tried to get around, but I think he can be satisfied with his effort. Now, we look forward to tomorrow, which will feature a challenging finale”, finishes de Jongh.