• Peter Sagan has seven green jersey wins to his name (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Peter Sagan didn't claim a single point on Stage 16, but with the race getting closer to Paris he is now assured of matching Erik Zabel's record if he can make the finish in Paris.
Cycling Central

25 Jul 2018 - 8:13 AM  UPDATED 25 Jul 2018 - 8:15 AM

Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) has racked up an impressive points tally in the 2018 edition of the race, claiming three stage victories to go with three further podium finishes and a fourth place. The three-time world champion also amassed points at the intermediate sprints enroute to his current total of 452 points.

With his nearest competitor- Alexander Kristoff - languishing behind on 170 points, and with only a handful of stages left, it is now impossible for the 282 point advantage to be bridged.

Sagan now just needs to finish the race in Paris to receive a record-equalling sixth green jersey. He would match Erik Zabel's run of six straight wins (1996-2001) in the classification.

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) was the first owner of the green jersey after his victory in the opening stage. Sagan took the jersey on the second stage and has kept it ever since, fending off the challenge of Gaviria, who had given up chasing points even before crashing out of the race.

Gaviria throws down green gauntlet
Tour de France debutant Fernando Gaviria has thrown down the gauntlet to Peter Sagan in the battle for the green jersey.

Sagan is on track to set some other records for the magnitude of his victory. He currently holds the record for most points in a single Tour with 470 in the 2016 edition. He passed the mark of Sean Kelly back in 1985 with that performance. Sagan requires only another intermediate sprint point win to pass his own record in this edition. 

Kelly holds the record for the largest margin of victory in his 1982 performance, with a lead at the conclusion of the race of 277 points over second-placed Bernard Hinault. Sagan's lead over Kristoff is currently larger than that of the great Irishman, but with a number of stages still to run where his competitors may yet narrow the gap.

Of course, the points system isn't a consistent one, with points allocations changing from year to year based upon the inclinations of the organisers, so it is hard to compare different generations. What is clear is this is a performance for the ages by Peter Sagan. 

Zwift Cycling Central Podcast - Tour de France 2018 - Pepper spray on the peloton, and Alaphilippe's panache

Stage 16 of the Tour de France, with a pepper spray incident and a win by Alaphilippe

Alaphilippe wins an eventful Tour stage
Stage 16 of the Tour de France featured a protest, spectacular crashes and dynamic racing which ended with a swashbuckling win by Julian Alaphilippe.