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Sagan worked for new Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates at the beginning of the WorldTour opener, supporting Irish sprinter Sam Bennett in the first stage, and overall hopeful Jay McCarthy the next day on the hilltop finish in Paracombe, which ultimately decided the title.
From then on the 26-year-old focussed on his own performances, finishing second to Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) in the three remaining sprint stages.
“I feel very good. I’m not in the top shape now but for sure I will be good later,” Sagan said.
Watch: highlights from stage six of the Tour Down Under
Australians readily admit that they’re often one step ahead of their European counterparts at the Tour, having been able to train in finer conditions over the pre-season and often race in earlier events
Asked if the increasingly hillier course was too difficult for foreigners at this time of year, Sagan said no.
“It was OK I think. The climbs are not too long and the stages are short. It’s really good for us,” he said.
“I heard every year it gets more difficult, harder stages, but still I think I passed this week well. I enjoyed it.”
In recent years Sagan has opened his season in equal modest form at the Tour de San Luis in South America, which has now been replaced by the Vuelta a San Juan.
He will return to Europe for a training camp with the new team he earlier this week described as “exquisite”, before focusing on a continent campaign starting with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in late February.