Peter Sagan's mysterious Tour de France chest-thumping explained

Tour de France points classification leader Peter Sagan thumped his chest as he came over the line in second place on Monday's stage - but why?

Peter Sagan Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Peter Sagan took inspiration from The Wolf of Wall Street as he finished second – again – on yesterday's 16th stage of the Tour de France in Gap.

Sagan was seen pounding his chest upon crossing the line after an unsuccessful chase of Lampre-Merida's Ruben Plaza down the Col de Manse descent.

“I was doing this for energy,” he said, before acting out the memorable scene from the film involving actor Matthew McConaughey. “It's from The Wolf of Wall Street, you know it?”

Sagan even hummed the rhythm that McConaughey's character makes in the scene, prompting amusement and bafflement from journalists watching his press conference.

Video: The chest-thumping, humming scene from The Wolf of Wall Street

The Slovak has now finished second on five stages in this year's race, but his flat-out pursuit of Plaza won him plenty of admirers.

“At the top I was 1-05 down, I rode a full gas descent and took some risks, but it wasn't enough to win stage,” he added.

“I really don’t know what I should do better. I tried everything. I knew I had to try as hard as I could in the descent even if it meant dying.”

Sagan was joined by Chris Froome in the media mixed zone, and the yellow jersey holder told the Tinkoff-Saxo rider he thought he'd win the stage.

“Froomey! How are you?” came Sagan's reply. “Ah...[I had] s****y legs.”

>>> Five talking points from stage 16 of the Tour de France

This was Sagan's third-consecutive day in the breakaway (“I have big balls,” was his explanation for this approach), and it allowed him to extend his lead over Lotto-Soudal's André Greipel to 89 points in the points classification.

He's more than on course to win his fourth consecutive green jersey, but a stage win has eluded him since the 2013 Tour.

“I’m glad because I was going for second place,” he joked. “Maybe my time is coming.”

Video: Tour de France 2015 stage 16 highlights

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Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.