It was the World vs. Peter Sagan on Stage 10 of the 2016 Tour but the World Champion still came away with the green jersey and the most aggressive rider prize.
Michael Matthews may have broken his Tour de France duck on Stage 10, but it was Peter Sagan that made the stage.
The world champion had clearly targeted this stage as a 'must-win', attacking almost from the gun and following every attempt to form a breakaway on the ascent to the Porte D'Envilara.
He finally got his wish on the descent from the highest point on the 2016 Tour: however, that still didn't seem enough for the Slovak, who tried to go away with Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R) with 120km to go. While this attack was curtailed by a headwind, Sagan's blistering turn of pace at 20km to go splintered the breakaway - unintentionally handing Orica-BikeExchange the means to win the stage.
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Sagan was philosophical about his second place to Michael Matthews.
"It didn't go very well at the end, but it could have been worse as well," said Sagan. "I took second and I'm happy for Michael as he took his first stage at the Tour de France, and I took more points for the green jersey.”
Sagan admitted that he used a lot of energy during the stage because 'nobody wanted to go full gas, and a lot of guys didn't want to work'.
"I was trying to keep everybody turning. I attacked in the crosswind and we split in the last 25km. I then did a lot of attacking in the climb but couldn't get away," he added. "The guy from Orica was attacking in the last 3km. I always chased him and all the work was on me in the final."
Sagan's efforts were not totally in vain: his second place and maximum points in the intermediate sprint meant the reclaimed the green jersey from Mark Cavendish. Sagan now leads the competition by 38 points.
Sagan was also awarded the most aggressive rider prize for the stage.