Peter Sagan explains why he didn’t go for breakaway on stage 18 of Giro d’Italia 2021

The current points leader was happy to let the chance at a stage win slip by

Peter Sagan wears ciclamino at the Giro
Peter Sagan wears ciclamino at the Giro
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Sagan has explained his approach to stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia 2021, as he let a chance at stage victory slip by.

The Bora-Hansgrohe leader is currently leading the maglia ciclamino points classification and is happy to defend his jersey, rather than battle for another stage.

Sagan is currently battling Davide Cimolai and Fernando Gaviria for the points classification, as he has a 23-point margin with just three stages left to race. 

Speaking after stage 18, a day that would have suited a versatile sprinter like Sagan, he said: “It went pretty well for us. With the jersey it was our goal to control the race from the start and make sure Gaviria and Cimolai didn’t go for the break. That’s it for the day for us. Now I’d prefer to keep the jersey than fight for another stage.  

“It doesn’t make sense for me to go for the breakaway, because if I did Gaviria and Cimolai would go with me. It depends on what goals you have, but I have the ciclamino jersey as a goal.” 

Sagan currently sits on 135 points in the competition, having won stage 10 into Foligno ahead of both Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation).

With no more sprint opportunities remaining in the race, Sagan now has to defend his jersey using intermediate sprint points during the stages, ensuring his rivals can’t get up the road in a break to secure maximum points without him. 

>>> Five talking points from stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia 2021 

Stage 18 would have been well-suited to Sagan, with a quick succession of hills falling in the final 40km, but instead the breakaway were allowed to go 20 minutes clear of the peloton, with Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) winning the stage.  

Cimolai is now Sagan's nearest rival on 113 points, followed by Gaviria at 110.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.