Sagan wins 5th stage to consolidate points lead

PARIS, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Peter Sagan claimed his second win in the 2018 Tour de France on the fifth stage, moving level in his duel with Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria. With this victory, the Slovakian leads the Tour's overall classification by 33 points, and tightens his grip on the green jersey.

The fifth stage is the first hilly stage in this year's race. Sagan edged Sonny Colbrelli and Philippe Gilbert in the final sprint to complete the 204.5km ride from Lorient to Quimper in 4 hours, 48 minutes, 6 seconds. He thanked Greg Van Avermaet, the overnight leader from BMC Racing, for his early move at the final turn.

"I'd like to thank Greg because he did me a favor when he went for it. I don't know if he did it on purpose but he dropped a lot of people," Sagan said.

Van Avermaet accelerated for the stage win 300 meters before the finish line, but failed to maintain his pace throughout the sprint and ended up in seventh. However, he secured his lead in the overall standings by 2 seconds over teammate Tejay Van Garderen to retain the yellow jersey.

Defending champion Chris Froome was halted by a mechanical problem 70km from the finish. Although his teammate Michal Kwiatkowski helped him out, he was forced to change his bicycle. But thanks to an escort from Kwiatkowski and other teammates, Froome was able to finish with the peloton, trailing the yellow jersey holder by 57 seconds.

The sixth stage runs from Brest to Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, and also features significant elevation change.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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