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Sagan has already equaled pre-Tour goals

By Andrew Hood • Published
Peter Sagan has two stage wins so far in this Tour de France. Photo:Tim de Waele | Getty Images

BREST, France (VN) — How good is Peter Sagan’s start in this year’s Tour de France. With two stage wins in four chances, the three-time world champion has already met Bora-Hansgrohe’s target coming into the race.

“The realistic goal at the start of the Tour was two stage wins,” said sport director Patxi Vila. “We already have that. In grand tours, it’s about getting a good start is important. So it’s about getting the ball rolling.”

Sagan is off to a flying start to the 2018 Tour. He’s won stage 2 and stage 5 in emphatic fashion, wore the yellow jersey for one day, and is taking an early lead to archrival Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step) in a hunt for the green points jersey.

“It’s hard to imagine a better start to the Tour de France for us,” Vila said. “Maybe we could have gone 15 seconds faster in the team time trial, but two wins and two second places, and Rafa [Majka] in the top-10, it couldn’t be a better start than this.”

Sagan came into this Tour ready to get back onto the winner’s podium. His controversial exclusion from last year’s Tour kept him from winning a record-tying sixth green jersey. His victory Wednesday was his 10th Tour stage of his career.

After two turbulent seasons with Tinkoff, Sagan seems have settled in nicely at Bora-Hansgrohe. He’s brought some close friends to this Tour, including Daniel Oss and Maciej Bodnar. The mood is relaxed before and after the intensity of the racing.

“We are very lucky because the eight riders on the team are a bunch of friends before anything else,” Vila said. “The mood in the bus and at the dinner table is really nice. We are in that positive way even when we know it’s going to be hard.”

Sagan isn’t putting a limit on how many victories he can take. So far, only Gaviria and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) have been able to challenge Sagan in the bunch sprints.

“We want to win as many as possible,” Vila said. “The way Peter is riding, he might even be up there at Mur de Bretagne. There are a few more sprint chances, but the next big goal is Sunday.”

Sunday, of course, is the cobblestone stage ending in Roubaix. As the reigning Paris-Roubaix champion, Sagan will be in the mix for victory.

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