Peter Sagan, the three-time and reigning World Champion in the rainbow striped jersey, is too far back.
Three kilometers to go and still he’s too far back. Two kilometers, one kilometer, Trek Segafredo have lined it out for their sprinter John Degenkolb, and where is Sagan? Caught in traffic, boxed in? He’s too far back.
Is he just sitting this one out, this nice sprint stage into Valence with a slight rise to the finish, already satisfied with his two stage wins and a massive lead in the green jersey competition?
The the fastest sprinters in the Tour de France, Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep Floors) and Dan G (LottoNL-Jumbo) are gone, didn’t make the time-cut on Alpe d’Huez. Doors is wide open for Sagan to take a third stage victory so what the Hell is he doing?
He’s too far back. Taking some personal time off? Nursing a slight cold, what?
No, he’s Peter Sagan. He knows exactly what he’s doing — which is reading the race perfectly, tapping the flow, trusting his instincts. He knows FDJ and Trek went to the front too early, that Andre Demare (FDJ) or Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) have the wheel he wants.
This season, Sagan has proved again and again that his timing is almost always perfect. He has the correct moment down to the millisecond.
Demare launches, Kristoff shoots up the middle, they’re side-by-side, full gas, both desperate for their first Tour stage victory.
In a flash, it’s the green jersey of Sagan, flying past , a perfect bike throw, win number three by a wheel length.
“I think I was a little bit late,” said Sagan. “I was a little bit behind at 600 metres, but in the last climb, I tried to bring myself to the front. I stayed on Kristoff’s wheel, and I’m very happy to beat them.”
Turns out that upon further review Peter Sagan wasn’t too far back.