Peter Sagan understood the sacrafice his Cannondale team mates made along the route of the seventh stage of the Tour de France. The men in green, intent of delivering their captain to the top step of the podium today after a string of top four places in the first week rode hard on the front of the peloton for over 160km, and in doing so destroyed the chances of the pure sprinters engaged in a chase from behind.
"I am very happy with what the team did today commented the 23 year old Sagan, and without them it would have been impossible for me to get the result," he said before hitting out at internet critics who, he said, speculated that the Cannondale sprint train was weak compared to the Lotto-Belisol and Omega Pharma-QuickStep formations.
"At the beginning of this Tour I told everybody that Iím not here with a team that is built around me to launch me in a sprint. We have a different tactic this year and what my team did today was a sprint train, but it was for 160km."
The 206km between Montpellier to Albi was built for an round rider and fast finisher like Sagan, "We aimed to drop the other sprinters at the intermediate sprint. After that we saw there was a break and so my teammates came and asked me why we didnít carry on Ė maybe you can win the stage, they said."
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling in 4:54:12
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano at same time
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff same time
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step same time
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling same time