• Peter Sagan: happy in green (AAP) (EPA)Source: EPA
After a week of near misses, Peter Sagan pulled on the green jersey as the leader of the points classification after a strong fourth place, uphill finish in Stage 8 of the Tour de France.
Cycling Central

12 Jul 2015 - 6:44 AM  UPDATED 12 Jul 2015 - 1:32 PM

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider also continues to lead the best young rider classification by almost an hour over Giant-Alpecin’s Warren Barguil.

“The finale was very hard because we did full gas from the bottom to the finish line,” said Sagan whose ability to finish at the front of the field on the shorter climbs has seen him win the overall sprinters’ classification for the past three years at the Tour.

Vuillermoz wins on the Mûr-de-Bretagne
Lightly regarded Alexis Vuillermoz of the AG2R team defied predictions and the favourites to win the 8th stage of the Tour de France.

“I took the decision to stay with (Chris) Froome and in the last hundred metres I tried to accelerate but I was in the red zone and Valverde beat me, while I wasn’t fully able to do my sprint,” he said.

The fourth place finish means the Slovak now leads Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) by a narrow margin in the race for green.

“I was hoping to take the win but the two guys up front did a strong attack and for sure, it’s nice to be back into the green jersey. It’s only with a three-point advantage but I will do my best to stay in the lead.

“I would have liked to take more points but I’m satisfied and now we look forward to the team time trial, where I think we can do well," he said.

While Sagan is focused on taking home the green jersey for a fourth consecutive year, a temptingly small deficit to overall race leader Froome (Sky) means time in the yellow jersey isn’t out of reach either.  

“We have to do our maximum like in every time trial but I think we have a good team for this challenge. The yellow jersey is 11 seconds away, it will be difficult but we are here to try,” he said.

Tonight’s team time trial will also be an opportunity for Sagan’s Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Alberto Contador to edge closer to taking the overall victory in the Tour. Contador currently sits in seventh on the general classification, 36 seconds behind Froome.

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