Peter Sagan, right, pips Luis Leon Sanchez, left, on the line at Uraidla for his second Tour Down Under stage win. Picture Sarah Reed
Peter Sagan, right, pips Luis Leon Sanchez, left, on the line at Uraidla for his second Tour Down Under stage win. Picture Sarah Reed

Ice-cold Sagan sets Hills alight again

Less than a month ago Peter Sagan posted a video of himself skiing at breakneck speed down an Austrian slope in freezing conditions.

Now he is the king of steaming hot Uraidla, where the temperature nudged 35C on Thursday afternoon as thousands of fans flooded the usually peaceful Adelaide Hills town to watch the suffering peloton.

The UCI three-time world champion appeared to be ice cold when he took Out stage 3 in a race which was filled by pre-race drama at the Lobethal start line.

Sagan, 28, also claimed his second Santos Tour Down stage victory after winning at Uraidla last year.

Peter Sagan, right, pips Luis Leon Sanchez, left, on the line at Uraidla for his second Tour Down Under stage win. Picture Sarah Reed
Peter Sagan, right, pips Luis Leon Sanchez, left, on the line at Uraidla for his second Tour Down Under stage win. Picture Sarah Reed

"I am very happy for that and thanks to all my teammates,'' said the BORA-hansgrohe leader.

"They did a great job taking care of me and kept me in the front, and in the end I still had a lot of energy for the final lap.

"And I won by a little bit but I won and I am very happy with that.

"It's always better to win than no win, and I am very happy for that, we will keep going and see day by day if we can achieve more."

Sagan said he still had a lot of energy at the end of the seven-lap finishing circuit on the reconfigured stage and trusted his ability in the dash for the line.

"It was a different parcours, the last year the last climb was much harder, it was much hotter than today, but today on the first lap I said 'okay we'll see how I am going' and CCC did a very high pace during the race and lap by lap it was getting harder.

"But in the end I had a lot of energy for the last lap and it was really under control."

Sagan said he wasn't bothered with a decision to keep the stage at full distance after some concerned riders wanted the race reduced by two of the finishing laps - 26km - prior to the race.

It came after race director Mike Turtur was lauded for removing about 30km from stages 1 and 2 because of the hot conditions.

 

The fast and furious start at Lobethal. Picture: Tricia Watkinson
The fast and furious start at Lobethal. Picture: Tricia Watkinson

 

"I am not here for that, we have CPA behind us and they have to take care of that," Sagan said.

Riders union representative, Australia's Lotto-Soudal member Adam Hansen and teams representative, Matt White from Mitchelton-Scott met with officials.

About 10 minutes after the pre-race meeting Hansen said it was decided the stage would take one lap off the circuit but some sports directors didn't want the race shortened after the message was relayed to the peloton.

"There was a few concerned rider and I brought it and my decision was I was happy to make (the decision) it on the road (to shorten the race while it was in progress),'' Hansen said.

"We've all got radios and we can communicate to the car, Matt White was pretty dominant, he wanted to know the decision (before the start).

"Mike (Turtur) wanted to make it two laps shorter, we thought I was too much, we all agreed on one lap shorter, I told a bunch of teams.

"Then I heard some team managers changed the decision."

It looked like some riders concerns were vindicated when the peloton started to split in the final two laps of the circuit towards Uraidla before Sagan took the stage crown.

News Corp Australia


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