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Valence - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Illustration picture of sunflowers pictured during the 105th Tour de France - stage - 13 from Bourg d’Oisans to Valence - 169KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

TOUR’18 Stage 13: Super Sagan Triple Stage Win!

Stage Report: Stage 13 took the Tour de France out of the Alps to Valence and could have been the day for a break to succeed, but the tired legs left the battle for the few sprinters on the roads of France. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) pipped European champion Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) to the finish line and his third Tour stage win this year and more points towards his green jersey.

Peter Sagan claimed his eleventh stage win at the Tour de France, the third one since the start in Vendée. Stage 13 was a transition stage that saw Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Tom Scully (Education First), Michael Schär (BMC) and Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) the only riders wanting to take the chance against the peloton, but in the end it was the fast finishers who fought for the victory.

Stage 13 should be a rest after the last days in the Alps. There are only two climbs to split up the 169.5 kilometers stage from Bourg d’Oisans to Valence. The Cat 3 Côte de Brié after 32,5 kilometers and the Cat 4 Côte de Sainte-Eulalie-en-Royans with 60 kilometers to go should not cause any problems for the remaining sprinters – or is it a day for an escape?

Nibali and Greipel Gone
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was forced to withdrawn from the Tour de France after a crash with about 4km to go on the Alpe d’Huez. The medical examinations have shown a fracture of the tenth thoracic vertebra and therefore it’s impossible for the Italian to continue. Nibali will return to Italy where, in the next days, he will undergo a new clinical evaluation.

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) had to abandoned stage 12 on the Col de la Croix de Fer along with teammate Marcel Sieberg. “The past three days weren’t easy and too hard for me. I knew that this would be another tough day in the saddle. I could only hope the peloton would ride up the first climb rather slowly, but that wasn’t the case. Soon, I felt this would be the end of the Tour for me. Others might choose to hold on to the team car, but if I can’t arrive at the finish on my own, I rather go home. I’m not sad; I’m a realist and a fair sportsman.”

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Tom Scully (Education First-Drapac) escaped the peloton after 2 kilometers, they were joined by Michael Schär (BMC) and Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) at the 29 kilometer mark, the peloton were happy to leave them out front, but never allowing them too much time.

The break achieved a maximum lead of 3:30 just before the climb of the Côte de Brié after 30 kilometers, where De Gendt took the KOM points. Bora-Hansgrohe, Groupama-FDJ and UAE Team Emirates combined forces at the head of the peloton to maintain a steady gap of around two minutes. Lukas Pöstlberger, Tobias Ludvigsson and Darwin Atapuma were the team’s designated riders to pull the bunch after the four escapees.

The advantage of the leading quartet was reduced to 55 seconds with 55 kilometers to go, after Scully had taken the KOM on the category 4 Côte de Sainte-Eulalie-en-Royans. The peloton eased their efforts in order to not bring the breakaway back too early and so the lead was held at 30 seconds with 30km to go. De Gendt who won the intermediate sprint at Saint-Quentin-sur-Isère and was first to throw in the towel. Schär forged on by himself with 23 kilometers to go, but was caught after a strong solo effort with 6 kilometers remaining. He was awarded the most combative rider of the day.

LottoNL-Jumbo, Trek-Segafredo and Bora-Hansgrohe all tried to control the peloton as it wound its way through Valence, with Groupama-FDJ dominating for Démare at the 1K flag. As Fernando Gaviria is now no longer in the 2018 Tour de France, Philippe Gilbert tried his luck for Quick-Step Floors. Groupama-FDJ pulled him back inside 300 meters to catapult Démare out front for the win. The Frenchman was just not fast enough and was passed by the World champion, Peter Sagan and Alexander Kristoff before the line. The Slovakian scored his third stage win at this year’s Tour, equalling his all-time record. This is his 42nd stage podium, just as many as Gustave Garrigou, Francis Pélissier and Sean Kelly.

Stage winner and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “This is a fantastic victory. I’m so happy to have won, it was something very good for me, personally. Once again, I have to thank my teammates for their dedication and work. It was a flat stage after the tough mountains, so everybody recovered a little bit in the group. I think they all seemed happy to stay in the bunch and go through a more relaxed stage. My timing in the sprint might now seem perfect but I think I was probably a little bit late. I was a bit behind with 600 meters to go and on the last climb, I tried to bring myself to the front. I then stayed on the wheel of Kristoff and I’m very happy to have beaten them. However, the Tour de France is far from over. We have to make sure we stay out of trouble, we get to Paris healthy and we cross the finish line on the Champs-Elysées.”

Geraint Thomas finished in the peloton to hold his overall lead of 1:39 on his Sky teammate, Chris Froome and 1:50 on Tom Dumoulin of Sunweb.

Overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It was a fast day on fast roads but I think the whole peloton enjoyed an easier day after the last few days we’ve had. It was a sketchy little final again as always and I’m happy to get that one out of the way. The boys kept me right up there with Froomey. It was just a case of avoiding any mishaps. Job done. Tomorrow it’s a tough finish – I’ve done it a few times. I think potentially it could be a breakaway day so I think it’s going to be a hard start. Obviously we’re going to race the climb whatever happens. It’s a challenging final.”

Tour de France Stage 13 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:45:55
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
6. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Magnus Cort (Den) Astana
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
11. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
12. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
13. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
14. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
15. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
16. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb
17. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
18. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
19. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
20. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
21. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
22. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
23. Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
24. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
25. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 13:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 53:10:38
2. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:50
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 02:46
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:07
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 3:13
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 3:43
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4:13
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 5:11
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 5:45
11. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 9:07
12. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 9:09
13. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 9:37
14. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 15:28
15. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 16:41
16. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 18:39
17. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 20:41
18. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 23:30
19. Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic at 23:55
20. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 30:46
21. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 36:18
22. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 37:39
23. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 37:55
24. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data at 38:43
25. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 39:18.

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