Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Sagan clinches another Tour de France stage

Sagan clinches another Tour de France stage

Peter Sagan claimed his second win in the 2018 Tour de France on the fifth stage, moving level in his duel with Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria.

Van Avermaet leads Britain's Geraint Thomas (Sky) by three seconds in the overall standings, with American Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and France's Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) at five and six seconds respectively. Today the legs were good and everything was OK, " Groenewegen said. It's fantastic, I'm really grateful for myself and for my team.

Bardet would lose 31 seconds on the stage in a blow to the Frenchman's general classification hopes, while 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dumoulin lost 53 seconds.

Bardet was left 1:45 back in 23rd overall after a spoke on his bike broke.

"I talked to everyone", Sagan said when asked how he passed the time after finishing third in the mass sprint which, with its uphill finish, suited him. "Then I had to chase and that effort was fatal", AG2R-La Mondiale rider Bardet told reporters.

The peloton set off amid good racing conditions for the longest stage on the race, with a finish line opposite the 800-year-old cathedral of Chartres, a UNESCO world heritage site. "Your team-mates can help you a bit but a lot of the time you'll find yourself on your own and need to do it yourself".

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The French rider with the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team established an advantage of more than eight minutes _ the biggest breakaway lead in this year's Tour _ before being caught by the pack with 90 kilometres to go.

"I'd like to thank Greg (Van Avermaet) because he did me a favour when he went for it, I don't know if he did it on goal but he dropped a lot of people", said Sagan, who has tightened his grip on the points classification's green jersey.

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step midway through the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds.

A breakaway group of five riders - Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Damien Gaudin and Fabien Grellier (both Direct Energie) - hit the front from the off and built a gap of nearly seven minutes before it stabalised.

With a nervous day expected on Sunday's cobbled stage nine to Roubaix before the race even moves to the Alps, Thomas said it was too soon for anything to be decisive.

The stage, the longest of this year's Tour, was ridden at such a serene pace at times it might have been mistaken for the first rest day.

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