Bora-Hansgrohe will not give up Peter Sagan’s reign in the green jersey without a fight, as they prepare themselves for another day of trying to rip Sam Bennett’s legs off on stage 19 of the Tour de France.
“Tomorrow, we will go full gas for Peter, we still want to win a stage with him and we have two chances left, tomorrow and in Paris,” Lennard Kämna said after stage 18.
Ominously, Bora-Hansgrohe sat up during the final mountain day in the Alps, having not managed to make the break, deciding to instead save their legs for tomorrow.
Bennett extended his lead in the green jersey by a handful of points on stage 18, the intermediate sprint coming before any of the tough climbs on the route to La-Roche-sur-Foron.
Friday’s stage 19, from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole offers up a lumpy parcours, with a category four climb before the intermediate sprint, and then more green jersey points on offer at the finish line.
As for Sam Bennett, he believes his work on stage 18 has given him enough breathing room to guarantee to wear the green jersey on the podium in Paris. The Irishman now sits 52 points ahead of Sagan with two road race stages to go.
“It was hard, but I knew the start of the stage was very important,” Bennett said of stage 18. “I had to follow Sagan and beat him at the intermediate sprint. “The rest of the stage was not so pleasant. We found ourselves in a very big breakaway and I’m happy I got some more points.
“I have a 50 points advantage now, and that’s a safe margin in case something unfortunate happen. Also, being on the break gave me a head start on the first climb, which was good as I could set my own pace. I try not to think of how close I am to winning the green jersey. I prefer to go day by day.”