Peter Sagan: I tried my best

Reigning world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) completed this year’s Vuelta a España with his sixth podium finish on a stage of the Spanish Grand Tour on Sunday.

Sagan had started the Vuelta’s final stage hoping that he would repeat one of his earliest Grand Tour bunch-sprint victories. Back in 2011, in Madrid, he had taken his third stage win at what was first Vuelta, winning ahead of Italians Daniele Bennati and Alessandro Petacchi.

But seven years later, Italy’s top sprinter, Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), managed to best Sagan conclusively, roaring up the left-hand side of the Paseo de la Castellana in central Madrid to cross the line clearly ahead  of the Slovakian.

“As expected, the Vuelta ended with a fast bunch sprint in Madrid. I tried my best but it wasn’t enough to win the stage. Congratulations to Elia for his victory,” Sagan said in a brief comment on the Bora-Hansgrohe website. His last Vuelta stage win, therefore, remains in Malaga back in 2015, shortly before he had to quit after colliding with a race motorbike, before going on to win the first of three world-championship titles.

Sagan finished this year’s Vuelta a España with four second places, two thirds and second place in the points classification – the latter behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). His consistency bodes well for the coming weeks, although it remains to be seen how he will fare on Innsbruck’s tough course at this year’s world championships.

While Sagan can leave the Spanish Grand Tour seeing the glass both half-full and half-empty, his Bora-Hansgrohe team collectively left the race not overly satisfied with their performance.

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