Tour de France

Sagan in the peloton's sights at TDF

2016-07-04 11:44
Peter Sagan (AP)

Granville - Peter Sagan will don the yellow jersey for the first time at the Tour de France on Monday but he may be in for a bumpy ride.

The 223.5km third stage from Granville to Angers is pan flat but Sagan could be in for a frosty reception from fellow riders following his astonishing attack on the peloton on Sunday evening.

After his stage victory, the fifth of his career but first since 2013, Sagan lambasted his colleagues for reckless racing.

"Now in the group everybody is riding like they don't care about their life - it's unbelievable!" he stormed.

"It's like everybody is riding (as if they) lose the brain."

He added that the peloton had lost its habit of self-policing but it remains to be seen if that is the case, or whether someone will take umbrage with the popular Slovak.

"It's not logical. In the group, before there was respect. When someone did something stupid, everybody throws their (water) bottle on him or beats him with (tyre) pumps," complained Sagan, whose Tinkoff team leader Alberto Contador crashed on both of the first two stages.

"In front, there are a lot of guys that don't know how to (ride) a bike - it's like that.

"Today I'm in yellow but maybe tomorrow I will go home (after crashing out), this is the Tour de France."

Monday's stage will almost certainly finish in a bunch sprint, meaning there is little chance of Sagan losing the yellow jersey.

All the top sprinters lost time on Sunday's second stage as they were unable to keep up on the short but tough final climb to the finish.

But for Mark Cavendish, winner of Saturday's opening stage, Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel, Monday's stage will provide them with fresh opportunities.

And Greipel for one will be relieved.

"Nice to know already after the 2nd day @LeTour that the speed the peloton is doing on hilly roads is a little too fast for me," joked the burly German.

He won four stages in last year's race - although Kittel was missing from the peloton - but could manage only fourth on Saturday's opening stage.

For the overall contenders it will be a chance to regroup following Sunday's frantic finale.

Monday will be about staying safe and out of trouble, particularly for Contador after his two crashes.

He lost 48sec to reigning champion Chris Froome at the end of Sunday's stage.

"I lost more time than I had hoped to lose," he moaned.

"It's cycling. I must see if I can make up some time in the Pyrenees and the Alps."

Australian Richie Porte lost almost a minute more after suffering a late puncture.

"It was a disaster," said Porte, before adding: "The Tour de France is far from over."

Read more on:    tdf 2016  |  peter sagan  |  cycling

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