Tour de France 2018: Peter Sagan Wins Stage 13, Geraint Thomas Leads Field

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2018

Slovakia's Peter Sagan, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, crosses the finish line to win the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 169.5 kilometers (105.3 miles) with start in Bourg d'Oisans and finish in Valence, France, Friday July 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Peter Sagan won Stage 13 of the 2018 Tour de France after a late sprint finish saw him cross the line first at Bourg-d'Oisans in Valence on Friday.

Sagan finished ahead of UAE Team Emirates rider Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Demare of Groupama-FDJ.

It's a third stage win this year for Bora-Hansgrohe's Sagan, who retained the green jersey, while Geraint Thomas remains in the overall lead.

Sagan had set the pace after a frantic finish:

Yet it's Team Sky's Thomas who still leads the way in the general classification:

Afterwards, Sagan reflected on keeping his winning run going:

The stage had begun under something of a cloud, following the news Vincenzo Nibali had left the race due to a shoulder injury after a crash during Stage 12. Bahrain-Merida team doctor Emilio Magni confirmed the news to Tuttobiciweb (h/t Cycling News).

With Nibali unable to compete, Friday's race began with Thomas De Gendt and Stefan Kung attempting an early break. However, Demare and FDJ kept the pair in sight.

FDJ had an early grip on the peloton, but De Gendt continued to fight to maintain the break further ahead. He, Michael Schar, Tom Scully and Dimitri Claeys had a lead of over two minutes on the peloton with 83 kilometres left.

The foursome's advantage was pegged back to one minute and 45 seconds with 70 kilometres remaining. There was some separation among the peloton after the climb at Cote Sainte-Eulalie-en-Royans, with the lead being reduced to 40 seconds.

Sagan's team-mate Tobias Ludvigsson was working hard to rein in the four leaders. The peloton had plenty of motivation to keep the break in sight:

De Gendt withdrew with 25 kilometres remaining, leaving Schar to lead the break, albeit with a slender advantage of just 25 seconds.

Even so, Schar was still on the front as the tricky final 15 kilometres approached:

His lead wouldn't last much longer, though, as Sagan's team made its move:

Although he still held the lead for another 9.5 kilometres, Schar was eventually reeled in. A bunch formed with Daniel Oss, Demare and John Degenkolb among those involved.

It was Philippe Gilbert's cue to launch a late attack and sneak on to the front. The Quick-Step Floors rider stayed there briefly until Demare reasserted himself with Kristoff not far off his wheel.

However, Sagan timed his move perfectly to round the pair and claim the stage.

While he's padded his points tally, Sagan and the rest will know Thomas is still in control ahead of Saturday's stage at Mende.

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