Here’s an update for all you cycling mad IFAs, from the horse’s mouth so to speak, on the Tour de France’s ‘financial’ team of Tinkoff-Saxo which saw them protect their main chance Alberto Contador on a nervous fifth day and their savvy sprinter Peter Sagan grab second place.
Sagan said: “Today the team did a nice race and Alberto finished safely and I got 2nd place just missing a little bit. I was too far back in the last hundred meters and I was just a little bit late but overall it was good. I was simply too far back in 10th position with a hundred meters to go and I couldn’t catch Greipel. It’s hard to beat a rider like him and I’m happy with my 2nd place. I was free to do my own race in the last five kilometres and I tried to position myself but a lot of riders came from behind and I had too many meters to make up in the final hundred meters.
“This is how it went today and each stage has its own story. It was also very crazy today with rain, wind and a lot of crashes and I’m happy with how we finished. Everybody wants to be at the front on a day like this to protect their team leaders and that creates tension in the group. We will see what happens tomorrow, it will depend on the conditions and if there is wind, because I want to help and protect Alberto but maybe I can do a good result in the finale.”
Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh said: “All in all, it went well today and we managed to keep Alberto and Peter out of trouble and without any problems during the stage. Unfortunately there were many crashes today and we had Matteo Tosatto, Ivan Basso and Michael Rogers, who all went down during the stage. Rogers and Basso escaped unharmed but Tosatto suffered a blow to the knee. However, he made it to the finish line, he is in a bit of pain but he will be able to continue and I don’t think it will be a big problem.
“Peter was 2nd in the sprint and it shows that he is strong. We are not here with a lead-out train and Peter also plays an important role during the stage. However, in the sprints he can do his thing and today he came really close. Tomorrow the weather should be a bit better without rain, which is good and hopefully we will also have less wind than today, as it always makes for a hard stage.”
Today the Tour reaches its closest point to England as it visits the Norman coast. So, if any IFAs have some spare time, here’s your chance to jump on a ferry and wave at the British contingent, including Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish.