The World Champion has a commanding lead in the points competition and only needs to finish in Paris to secure his record-equaling sixth ŠKODA green jersey. However, it won’t be as easy as it seems for the Slovak. After crashing heavily while descending off the Col de val Louron-Azet on Wednesday, he’s still in serious pain.

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“I crashed in a turn – in the corner I made a mistake,” Sagan told journalists after finishing stage 17. “It looked like a fast corner, but after I just went a little more right – I was braking but it wasn’t enough. Afterwards, I flew through the forest and I hit a big rock with my ass.”

His team later confirmed that X-rays found no fractures and heavy abrasions alone could not stop the world champion. He was not able to perform at his best yesterday and finished eighth in the bunch finish in Pau. Getting one day closer to Paris was, however, enough for the Slovak.

“It could have been worse. I have pain everywhere, but I’m happy that I can still keep racing,” Sagan said after the stage.” My physical condition is a bit worse than it was, but I took advantage of it to live the race from a different perspective. It was a painful ride, but it was still better than it will be tomorrow. But I can’t complain since I’m still on the race.”

Nevertheless, a bigger challenge still lies ahead of him and Sagan knows it.

“The time trial on Saturday will be fine. The big challenge is tomorrow’s mountain stage. I’m not afraid of anything. I’m going to suffer a little bit, that’s all.”

Will he survive all the way to Paris? What do you think?

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