After his Bora-Hansgrohe team dominated proceedings on stage seven of the Tour de France 2020, Peter Sagan was hit by misfortune and dropped a chain in the sprint for the line.
Sagan’s team kicked off the action almost immediately on the road from Millau to Lavaur, setting a rapid pace on the early climbs to distance Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
The tactic worked perfectly as the pure sprinters lost contact with the front group and Sagan took points at the intermediate checkpoint, securing the green jersey from Bennett in the process.
German squad Bora continued to hold the front for the duration of the stage to keep the sprinters away, which eventually set up a reduced bunch sprint for the line.
Sagan was well-placed at the front heading into the final turn, but as he tried to fit through a gap on the left hand side of the road he appeared to lose momentum and slipped back to finish 13th.
Speaking after the stage Sagan revealed he dropped a chain as he opened his sprint.
The former three-time World Champion said: “I’m disappointed. We controlled the race today, with my teammates doing a super job.
“Everything seemed very good and then I had bad luck in the final. My chain just dropped and I didn’t earn as many points as I wanted… but that’s cycling. I’m proud of all my teammates.
“They fought very hard from the beginning until the end.
“I can win the green jersey on stages like today, although with a different finale. Everything was very nice but the end was…f****** cycling.”
But thanks to an outstanding tactical performance, Sagan still moves into the lead of the points classification with a nine-point advantage over Bennett.
The stage went to Wout van Aert, who revealed he hadn’t intended to fight for the win at the start of the day.
Van Aert planned to support his team leader Primoz Roglic in the crosswinds, but when he found himself at the front of the reduced group he said he couldn’t resist the opportunity to go for a second stage victory this Tour.