Impossible to Beat
This year’s Tour course basically made the 25-year old Sagan impossible to beat as we saw him fighting in every big sprint. Even when his main competitors Cavendish or Greipel were ahead, Sagan was right behind. And despite three-time stage winner Greipel getting to a great start on the flats, once the race moved into the mountains the German was no match for Sagan.
When Sagan crossed the finish of Stage 16 in second place, he was thumping his chest the way Leonardo DiCaprio’s character did in the film The Wolf of Wall Street. “I was doing this for energy,” Sagan said at the subsequent press conference before humming the rhythm that DiCaprio’s character hummed in the scene, to the great amusement of journalists.
Even Greipel admitted Sagan deserved to win the Green Jersey. It really came down to a contrast in styles. Greipel won four stages, but Sagan finished in the top five on nine of thirteen stages, and took second place a record-setting five times.
But No Win
The only thing missing for Sagan was a stage victory, a fact that left team owner Oleg Tinkov a touch unhappy. “It was nice that Peter rode so well, but I’ve actually got mixed emotions about his Tour de France,” Tinkov said. “We all know that cycling is about winning and there’s far less value to second and third places. He was no doubt the strongest guy in the Tour. I just wish he’d won at least once.”
A Much Deserved Holiday
In post-race comments throughout the Tour, Sagan repeatedly stated that the only way to win was to try, try, and try again, and that winning a stage was still a major objective for him. Despite this failure, however, he told the media that he was happy about this year’s result and his role on the team. His plan for the near future is to stay off the bike for a week to take a short, much deserved holiday.