The world champion was ushered into the final kilometre with teammate Daniel Oss on the front of the bunch, but with 300 metres to go Sonny Colbrelli launched his winning sprint. The Bahrain-Merida rider’s acceleration up the left side of the road brought Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) and Sagan – briefly – with him, before Sagan switched to Fernando Gaviria’s wheel as the line approached.
Colbrelli, Sagan, and Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) then converged on the line, with Sagan caught in the middle. Despite the faster finish, the Bora rider was unable to squeeze between his two rivals, with Gaviria finishing second for the second consecutive stage.
When Sagan appeared at the foot of the Bora team bus, he was philosophical in defeat and congratulated Colbrelli on his win.
“In the sprint, I didn’t push for the line, but Sonny did a really good sprint, and from very long. Also, Fernando was there. In the end, it finished how it finished, but that’s OK. It wasn’t that technical today, it was OK. The last climb we went hard and the wet roads made it difficult, but from there it was a straight line to the finish,” Sagan told Cyclingnews.
“After the sprint you can always analyse your race and talk if there’s mistakes. If you win, everything is OK, and if you lose, you can analyse but it’s not about that. Every sprint is a different story. I did my best.”
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