Slovakian Peter Sagan says he won’t start feeling comfortable in the Tour de France green jersey until he arrives in Paris in just over a week’s time. But after another positive day on the race’s 13th stage, the 22-year-old Liquigas rider looks hard to beat. A day after boosting his lead over Matt Goss after the Australian was docked a 30-point penalty for an irregular sprint, Sagan came close to claiming his fourth stage win of the race when he finished runner-up to Andre Greipel. The German, taking his third win of this edition and fourth overall, took a maximum of 45 points at the finish to move into second place in the points competition.
Sagan took 35 and now has a tally of 296 and a 64-point lead on Greipel. Goss, one of several riders dropped on a late climb, slipped one place to third in the standings after adding no points to his overnight tally of 203. Sagan’s maiden green jersey triumph just got a step closer, but the Slovakian sprint sensation is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s still not mine!” he laughed when asked about his points tally. “It’s not as if we arrive in the Champs Elysees tomorrow. There are a lot of stages left till Paris and it’s a fight every day.”
On what is his race debut, Sagan has been one of the sensations of the race. He won three stages in the first week, all on different terrain, and came close to his fourth Saturday only to be upstaged in a furious sprint for the line by Greipel.
“If I’d jumped a little bit earlier maybe I’d have had a chance, but congratulations to Greipel, he deserves the win,” said Sagan. World champion Mark Cavendish won the green jersey for the first time in 2011 but his campaign has been hampered by Team Sky’s commitments to yellow jersey holder and teammate Bradley Wiggins. Cavendish sits fourth in the points competition on 129.