After crossing the finish line in third place behind Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) in Stage 7, Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) told the press that his spirit is high despite being constantly on the cusp of a much sought-after stage win.
“It’s not easy, that’s for sure," said Sagan. "But it will come, just be patient. It was a very difficult sprint but I think I’m doing well. I didn’t crash and I was there in the finale.
“I was on Degenkolb’s wheel just before the final sprint and then I was on the wheel of André Greipel in the final metres but Cavendish was very fast today. I gave it my best and now I look forward to tomorrow and then we’ll start to think about the team time trial," he said.
Greipel's second place, by a matter of a centimetres over Sagan, saw the powerful German extend his advantage in the sprinter's classificaiton. What began as a three point gap over Sagan at the beginning of the stage was a 13-point gap after the sprint finish. Sagan also sits second in the general classification, 11 seconds behind the yellow jersey of Chris Froome (Sky).
“I think the most important is that I’m in good condition and I have avoided crashes and I will definitely try again,” said the consistent Slovak. While some are tipping him to do well in Stage 8, he is uncertain whether the climb to the finish in Mûr-de-Bretagne will suit him.
“I heard that tomorrow could be a good finish for me but we will see. It’s right that I’m getting closer to the yellow jersey but it will be very difficult to overtake Froome tomorrow. I’m not a climber and the final climb is very hard and with the karma I have right now it will be difficult, that’s for sure,” he said with a smile.
After seven days of racing, Sagan holds a 56-minute lead in the best young rider competition for the white jersey, but he would be thrilled to swap that for for a green one.
Cavendish’s stage win overnight saw him rise to third in the sprint competition, with 151 points to Sagan’s 187. John Degenkolb from Giant-Alpecin sits close behind in fourth with 148 points.