Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won his 3rd stage of this year’s Tour de France, sprinting to the stage 13 victory in Valence. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Emirates) finished in 2nd place and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) finished in 3rd place.
Stage 13 of the Tour de France was the first transitional stage between the Alps and the Pyrenees and another opportunity for the sprinters. There was some uncertainty as to whether a break would make it today or not, but when only 4-riders went clear in the early part of the 170km stage, the sprint teams were confident of bringing the race back together for a sprint.
Our African Team, without our key sprint duo of Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw, looked to Edvald Boasson Hagen and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to have a go in the finale. Jay Thomson and Julien Vermote did a great job to deliver Boasson Hagen and Janse van Rensburg to the final 6 kilometers for the bunch kick.
It was a technical finish with a number of roundabouts that had to be negotiated by the tightly packed peloton. Janse van Rensburg and Boasson Hagen found it tricky to stay in each others wheel and so both ended up having to freelance to the final. Our South African was furthest forward when the sprint opened up but he was never really in contention for the win.
Sagan powered to the win while Janse van Rensburg came home in still a credible 11th place for us with Boasson Hagen a few spots further back in 17th.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
It was a pretty hectic and technical finish. Eddy (Boasson Hagen) and I were together with 2km to go but a little bit too far back. I moved to the front with 1km to go but he lost me on the way. I was in a good position but I was already on the limit so I couldn’t really sprint. We’ll try again. All the guys in the race are really tired after three tough days in the Alps. So it was nice to sort of have a recovery day today.