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Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Fernando Gaviria, Marcel Kittel, Dylan Groenewegen, Michael Matthews. That’s a lot of the Tour’s best sprinters, gone in the first half of the race. Peter Sagan must have been licking his lips as news of each abandon came through.
The world champion had already won two stages before the Tour hit the Alps, and when the race returned to the flatlands on stage 13, it did so with far fewer sprinters for Sagan to contend with. Sure, Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Demare remained, but neither would be strong enough to prevent Sagan from taking a third victory into Valence on Friday.
The real question is: how many stages will Sagan win? There are two sprint stages remaining and Sagan will start the favourite for both. And as for the green jersey? The only way he loses it from here is if he doesn’t reach Paris.
In the meantime, check out the following images from stage 13 of the Tour. As usual they come to you courtesy of Kristof Ramon, Ashley & Jered Gruber, and Cor Vos.