Tour De France 2012: Peter Sagan Collects First of Many Likely Stage Wins

Michael HatamotoContributor IIIJuly 1, 2012

Peter Sagan wins stage one (Image from AFP)
Peter Sagan wins stage one (Image from AFP)

Team Liquigas-Cannondale rider Peter Sagan won his first career Tour de France stage, picking up a solid win during stage 1 of the 99th edition of the famed race. 

The 198-kilometer stage started in Liege and ended in Seraing, Belgium, and featured the surprisingly difficult Côte de Seraing to finish the stage.

Sagan jumped on Team RadioShack-Nissan rider Fabian Cancellara’s wheel, benefiting from the Swiss rider’s slipstream for more than a kilometer to the finish line.  Joined by Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, the trio managed to finish ahead of a surging Philippe Gilbert and the rest of the splintered peloton.

Following the stage win, Sagan had this to say (via CyclingNews):

"Of course people told me I was the favourite.  I knew that Chavanel would try something at the end. I wanted to attack at the hardest section. It was very, very good that Cancellara was there. I saw that he had strong legs. It was good to take it easy behind him."

Sagan showed that he’s a top-notch talent for the years to come, and today officially put sprinters and specialist riders on notice.  Whether it’s a completely flat stage, or a steep, turbulent finish like stage 1, Sagan has an explosive finish that very few riders can match.

Cancellara retained the yellow jersey, and still has a seven-second lead ahead of Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins. 

Stage 2 tomorrow is a 208-kilometer, flat stage for the peloton’s fast man, so expect to see Sagan mix it up with the likes of Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Tyler Farrar.