Peter Sagan (BORA hansgrohe) took fourth place on the the Côte de la Croix Neuve after spending the day in the break on the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France. His high finish has extended his lead in the points classification.

After joining the escape and collecting the full 20 points in the intermediate sprint, the UCI World Champion stuck with the break to make it a day on the front, staying in contention on the final climb – the Côte de la Croix Neuve, a 3km ascent with an average gradient of 10.2% – and surprising his breakaway companions by taking fourth on the line.

The lead group included some really strong riders including Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Pierre Rolland (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) and Sagan’s team mate Maciej Bodnar.

Stuyven forged on by himself with 35 kilometres to go and 10 kilometres before the end, he was 1’40” ahead of the chasing group led by Gilbert. The gap was 1’30” at the bottom of the final ascent to la Croix Neuve.

Omar Fraile (Astana) was first to come across to Stuyven while Alaphilippe made his move three kilometres before the end. The Frenchman in the polka dot jersey didn’t manage to get across to the Basque rider who scored Astana’s 13th stage victory in the Tour de France. Alaphilippe finished second with Stuyven in third.

Sagan was next best of the chasers, taking fourth spot and adding yet more points to his Green Jersey total. He now has 437 points with Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) in second with 170 points.

Photo: Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2018

Peter Sagan – “Spending the whole day in front I was a bit bored because I thought I would be dropped in the finale anyway. So, for me, today was a long day. But in the last 5km, I refocused and thought, well I try and suffer a little. I stayed with the group and never overpaced myself. Once I crested the top, I attacked and tried to bridge to the front, but it was just not enough. I am happy with my legs, but I really wanted to win in the end.”


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