Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) emerged from the crash in the stage 5 finale relatively unscathed while Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) still…
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Green jersey lead cut, Slovak relatively unscathed
After dominating the puncheurs on the uphill finales at Seraing and Boulougne-sur-Mer, the shallower but deceptively difficult finishing straight at Saint-Quentin at the end of stage 5 of the Tour de France seemed the ideal arena for Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) to extend his rule over the pure sprinters.
The testing drag from the River Somme to the finish line would have provided a fascinating neutral venue for a prize fight between Sagan and André Greipel (Lotto Belisol), but unfortunately for the Slovak, he was left sprawling before he could even step in to the ring, knocked out by a crash just inside the final three kilometres.
Sagan was caught in the crossfire when Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) clashed with Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano) as the jostling for position began in earnest. He was forced into the gutter on the right hand side of the road, and was left dazed as the travelling circus sped on towards Saint-Quentin without the main attraction of its opening week.
“It’s like I say every day: everybody wants to do these sprints, and everybody thinks they can do these sprints,” a disappointed Sagan said after he came across the line in 152nd place. “Somebody feels bad and is tired but still tries to be in front. I don’t know why, but it’s like that.”
Sagan’s downbeat demeanour at the finish was a far remove from the playful exuberance of his victory celebrations earlier in the week. At just 22 years of age, the Tour debutant is having
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