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Press Releases | 05.09.2021

Peter Sagan takes tenth in brutal Benelux Tour grand finale as BORA - hansgrohe feature at the front throughout stage 7

After six hard days of demanding roads and tough racing, the Benelux Tour reached its grand finale today. There was going to be no relaxing ride to the finish line, with a 178.9km parcours that featured some of the toughest climbs from the Belgian Spring Classics. These short and sharp ascents would sting the riders’ legs after already giving their all on the previous stages, and the inclusion of the 7.3% Muur van Geraardsbergen no fewer than three times over the stage would mean only the strongest would survive to contest the stage win. From the moment the day started, the attacks came thick and fast and multiple attacks were brought back quickly. It wasn’t until more than 50km of riding that four riders managed to stay out, with BORA - hansgrohe’s Daniel Oss one of the quartet that managed to put some clean air between themselves and the now exhausted peloton, with another seven riders managing to bridge across. Their lead went out slowly to a minute, but this was as much as the peloton would allow, the mix of aggressive climbs and strength in numbers behind bringing the gap down gradually as the kilometres went by, before another small group of riders made the jump when the gap reached twenty seconds and the original break was swept up. Daniel was replaced by Lukas Pöstlberger in the break, but this group suffered the same fate, only being allowed to gain a minute on the peloton before gradually being reeled in with 25km to go. On the final climb of the Muur, Peter Sagan responded well to the attacks, using his Classics experience to go with the leaders, working in what became the third group on the road to keep the solo leader in sight, before the Slovak national champion’s group caught the second group. Peter went on the attack just outside the 10km to go point, injecting some pace into the chase for the finish line and there was only one climb to contend with before the race would come to an end in Geraardsbergen. On the steep slopes of the Denderoordberg – the maximum gradient hitting 13% - Peter dropped back as the chasers pushed the speeds higher to reduce the time gap but re-joined this group in their push for the line, taking tenth after a powerful effort where he never stopped pushing even on the painful final climbs. 

 

Results 

01       M. Mohiric               03:50:50

02       S. Colbrelli               + 0:11

03       T. Dumoulin             + 0:15

10        P. Sagan                 +0:24

 

From the Finish Line 

"It was full-on today, from start to finish. I gave everything I had, but today wasn't one of my best days. It was an exciting week of racing in the Netherlands and Belgium and it was nice seeing so many fans on the roads. I now look forward to my upcoming races." – Peter Sagan 

"It was a really hard stage that got off to a fast and furious start and a tremendous fight for the break. We did more than 55km in the first hour! Daniel Oss made a good move and went into the break, a good group with strong riders. In the local circuit, he went back to the bunch, and Lukas joined a leading group. In the final lap, Peter put a strong effort at the front of the chasing group right behind the eventual stage winner but it wasn't possible to close the gap. I think we rode well, but we missed a stage victory." – Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, Sports Director

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