Sprint king Sagan wins stage five
Peter Sagan sprinted to his second stage victory of the 2018 Tour de France in a captivating finish on Wednesday.
The three-time world champion timed his late surge up the hill to perfection to win the 204.5-kilometre fifth stage from Lorient to Quimperat.
Bora-Hansgrohe rider Sagan, eyeing a sixth green jersey, won the opening stage on Saturday and produced another blistering burst to deny Sonny Colbrelli after making his move with 200 metres to go.
Philippe Gilbert attacked with 70km to go on the first hilly day of the race, but he went too early and could not prevent Sagan from coming through to join Fernando Gaviria as a double stage winner early in this year's Tour.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished fourth ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates).
BMC Racing's Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey after finishing seventh, leading Tejay van Garderen by two seconds and the general classification favourites finished in the same time.
Team Sky crossed the line safely in the peloton, defending champion Chris Froome taking 14th just behind Geraint Thomas.
Sylvain Chavanel had come away from a seven-man breakaway, but was caught with around 60km to go and it was no surprise that it was Sagan who came out of the pack in a frantic finale to claim yet another win.
Relive this last kilometer who saw the 2nd stage win of @petosagan on this Le Tour!-- Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 11, 2018
Revivez ce dernière kilomètre qui a vu s'imposer @petosagan pour la 2e fois sur ce Tour 2018 #TDF2018 pic.twitter.com/leMFcXd7SJ
SAGAN: I GOT LUCKY
Sagan finished second behind Gaviria on stage four, but proved to be the sprint king again a day later.
Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel were a long way out of contention, but Sagan was perfectly placed after Toms Skujins and Lilian Calmejane - the last of the breakaway riders - were reeled in.
Sagan praised his team-mates and felt fortune was on his side.
The Slovakian said: "I was a little lucky, because Colbrelli was coming close again.
"My team-mates did a good job from the middle of the race and they pulled me into a good position."
STAGE 5 RESULTS
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:48:06
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)
3. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors)
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors))
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 18:22:00
2. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) +00:02
3. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) +00:03
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 180
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 147
3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Emirates) 78
UP NEXT ...
A 181km route from Brest to Mur-de-Bretagne, including what will be a steep final 2km climb. Sagan will fancy his chances of completing a hat-trick of stage wins.