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Suisse hat trick for Peter Sagan
Jun 13th, 12. In a repeat performance of yesterday's stage, Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) sprinted to victory to secure himself his third stage win in only four Tour de Suisse stages.
Sagan sealed the win ahead of Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), in a wet and cold stage that saw no change to the General Classification.
"At the start I didn't know quite what to expect from today's race. The weather and the pace of the race made for a tight stage that was difficult to manage," said Sagan.
"I tried to save as much energy as possible, hoping for a small bunch finish. The final sprint wasn't easy to set up because there wasn't a proper train. Holding onto to the first positions was crucial, and then I took my chance when Burghardt jumped and accelerated so no one could catch me."
"This is a happy period as everything I try works out alright. I know it won't always be like this so I'll capitalise on every opportunity while I can."
This win continues an incredible performance by the 22 year old Slovakian national champion, who in the Tour de Suisse and his previous race the Tour of California has won eight out of the possible 12 stage victories.
"I don't know how it would have gone without the super work done by Moreno [Moser]," said Sagan. "He shut down every attack at the end of the race, letting me do the sprint I wanted: big thanks to Moreno and I hope I can return the favour soon."
Sagan has consolidated his lead in the points classification.
Stable day for the General ClassificationDespite three categorised climbs in the 188km stage from Aarberg to Trimbach, all the main players managed to finish in the peloton behind Sagan to ensure there was no change to the GC.
Rui Costa (Movistar) continues to lead the tour 8sec ahead of Fränk Schleck (RadioShack Nissan Trek) with five stages to go.
A breakaway of nine riders that rode free 60km into the race were never allowed much more than a 3min advantage.
With Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) the best-placed rider at 1m15sec to the yellow jersey and RadioShack Nissan Trek represented in the break, Movistar kept a close eye on the leaders.
The final category two climb was the catalyst for action, with riders attacking the break to avoid being caught by the approaching peloton. They were unsuccessful with the breakaway caught with 30km to go.
In a counter-attack Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Sky) tried to solo his way to the finish line and Martin Elmiger (BMC) and Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R La Mondiale) bridged the gap to the Norwegian rider but relentlessly, the field pulled them back with 1km left to race.
Sagan accelerated with 200m to go, easily taking the win.
Tomorrow's fifth stage is 192.7km from Trimbach/Olten to Gansingen. With six categorised three climbs, a breakaway may be lucky to succeed, however all will look for Sagan again should it be a bunch sprint.
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