Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) might have his sixth Tour de France green jersey mathematically wrapped up, but the Slovakian still has to make it to Paris, which is not an easy task following a high-speed crash on Wednesday. After making it to the line in Laruns on stage 19, Sagan said that finishing the stage was worth more than the three stage victories he’d taken so far in this Tour de France.
As riders trickled across the line, attention turned from the general classification battle to the gruppetto and the green jersey. A member of the race organisation walked down the finishing straight, where media and team staff were waiting for the remaining riders to finish, holding up a piece of paper with the time cut scrawled on it.
They had until 45:58 to make it across the line, and they would do it comfortably, finishing 38:23 behind the winner, with Sagan the penultimate rider in the 22-man group.
“On the bicycle, I think we can compare it with the hardest day,” Sagan said after stepping onto the podium to claim his green jersey more than half an hour after the rest of the day’s classification leaders. “This is worth much more than the three victories before, for me. I have to survive tomorrow, too. I know that it will be easier than today.
“Mentally, I’m good, I think because it wasn’t an excuse for me to throw it away. In my head, I knew had to finish the race. It didn’t matter whether I was at the limit or not. I have to finish. Physically, it was really hard.
“It’s impossible to describe. It was very painful, but, in the end, I’m happy to make it and to continue in the race tomorrow.”
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