After the opening sprint stages of the BinckBank Tour made the overall standings close, the GC race started to explode with the addition of climbing to the later days, and today’s stage saw hard climbs and inclement weather ready to shake up the overall race.
While Peter Sagan had pushed hard and moved into a podium spot, the slightest mishap can often put an end to a rider’s chances through no fault of their own. Today, a puncture less than 25km from the finish slowed the Slovak rider, and while he keeps hold of the blue points jersey, Sagan’s bad luck cost him time in the GC race.
“We had another tough stage under harsh weather conditions”, said Sagan. “Once again, the team worked very well and I was positioned at the right place at the right time. With 25km to go, I was in the front group, together with all the main GC contenders and I launched my attack. Unfortunately, I suffered a puncture in the worst time possible, in a part of the course where my team car was in the back.
“In addition, there wasn’t any neutral assistance vehicle, either car or motorbike, so I lost precious time until I had my wheel changed. By then, it was too late to reach the front group. It’s a pity, my form was very good today and our plan was working perfectly.”