Paris, July 4 (IANS) Peter Sagan of Slovakia overcame a minor technical error in the final sprint to bag the eighth stage-victory of his career at the 2017 Tour de France cycle race.
British Geraint Thomas, who finished eighth in Monday’s third stage, kept the yellow jersey with a 12-second advantage over his Sky teammate Christopher Froome, reports Xinhua news agency.
With several hundred metres remaining in the 212.5 km third stage, Sagan’s right foot got unclipped off the pedal, but he coolly dealt with it and lost no speed in crossing the line.
“I was thinking, ‘what’s going on’,” recalled Bora-Hansgrohe racer Sagan, currently ranked fourth in the overall individual standings.
Starting from Verviers, Belgium, the third stage witnessed a six-member group break away 13 km into the race. The group maintained a two-minute lead away from the main group.
Nils Politt in the group crossed the line located in Wincrange, Luxembourg, around 89 km in the first position to snatch 20 points for the sprinting green jersey.
France’s Liliane Calmejane, last member of the six, got reeled with 10 km to go.
Richie Porte, highly regarded as a main contender for the yellow jersey, stood out with 800 metres left, only to run out his momentum and see Sagan win the stage in Longwy, France, despite the tricky slip.
Sagan took 36 points on Monday for the best sprinter as he went through the 1.6-km-long uphill finish, and a total of 50 points dragged him back into the contention for his sixth straight sprinting green jersey, now owned by German Marcel Kittel with 66 points.
After taking away three points for the best climbers, Nathan Brown won the polka dot ‘King of the Mountains’ jersey from his Cannondale Drapac teammate and fellow American Taylor Phinney at the stage featuring two third-category and three fourth-category climbs.
The best young racer belonged to Pierre-Roger Latour. Thanks to glittering performance from Thomas and Froome, Team Sky ranked first on overall team standings with an advantage of one minute and one second.
Tuesday’s fourth stage, starting from Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg, to Vittel, France, will cover 207.5 km with a fourth-category climb.