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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) won a dodgy sprint in stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse Monday, edging Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge) after a series of tight, narrow corners in the final 300 meters.
Ben Swift (Sky) was third.
The 195km stage between Martigny and Aarberg featured two late Cat. 3 and Cat. 4 climbs, but a series of narrow corners in the final run-in to the finish proved trickiest for the peloton. Michael Albasini (Orica) pushed hard into the finale for Cooke and dumped him off 300 meters from the line. Sagan followed ahead of Swift and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda). The Slovak, already a winner at the Swiss tour on Saturday, pulled his foot from his pedal to keep his balance on the rain slickened road, but roared back to pass the Aussie at the line.
“I came strong in the corners to not miss the second position, but the wet track made me lose grip,” said Sagan. “Instinctively I lifted my foot off the pedal for traction, then I left to resume Cooke was ahead. It’s all right, thanks to a bit of luck but, above all, to the great team work.”
Rui Costa (Movistar) defended the overall lead and will enter stage 4 with eight seconds over Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) and 15 seconds over Roman Kreuziger (Astana).
The Movistar-led chase of the early breakaway was delayed partway through the stage when a railroad crossing closed on the bunch. Costa made it through the crossing, but the teams neutralized the chase until the rest of the peloton could cross.
Editor’s Note: Keep your browser pointed to VeloNews.com for more from stage 2 of the 2012 Tour de Suisse.