Tour de France: Peter Sagan takes second win in first hilly stage


Peter Sagan showed his versatility as he won a hilly stage with an uphill finish in typically buccaneering style

World champion Peter Sagan outstayed his rivals to win a dramatic uphill sprint finish in Quimper on stage five of the Tour de France.

He made his move with 200m to go, beating Sonny Colbrelli and Philippe Gilbert for his second stage win.

Greg van Avermaet stayed in the yellow jersey, extending his overall lead with a two-second bonus during the stage.

He came seventh, behind Ireland’s Dan Martin, while Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton.

In an impressive performance from Team Sky, Froome’s team-mate Geraint Thomas came home 12th. The Welshman is fourth in the general classification, five seconds off Van Avermaet.

Sagan’s skills to the fore

On a rolling, twisting 204km stage, which demanded technical skills throughout and canny tactics at the finish, Sagan’s ability came to the fore.

The 28-year-old, who has represented his country in mountain biking at the Olympics, plotted his path to the finish superbly, overhauling Colbrelli in the final few metres.

Excluding Monday’s team trial, Sagan has two second-placed finishes and two stage victories from the Tour’s five race days so far.

He won five successive points classifications until 2016 before his run ended last year with disqualification following a crash involving Mark Cavendish.

With a 33-point lead over second-placed Colombian Fernando Gaviria and nearly 100 points over the rest of the field, he may well carry the green jersey all the way to Paris.

Thomas to be unleashed for second week?

Thomas has only one Tour de France stage win to his name

Thomas claimed before the start of the Tour that Team Sky would permit him to compete as a contender for the overall title – rather than as support for four-time champion Froome – until at least Monday’s first rest day.

The plan is apparently to review the situation from there.

So far the 32-year-old has done his best to ensure he is given longer to chase yellow for himself.

His current contract with Sky expires at the end of 2018.

And, although he is rumoured to be close to a renewal,