Kristoff too strong for Sagan on Tour stage 12
By Julien Pretot
ST ETIENNE France (Reuters) - Norway's Alexander Kristoff claimed his maiden Tour de France victory when he beat Peter Sagan in a sprint to prevail in dominant fashion on the 12th stage, a 185.5-km ride from Bourg en Bresse on Thursday.
Katusha rider Kristoff timed his effort perfectly to win with a comfortable margin to leave Slovakian Sagan, who looks set to win the green jersey for points classification, still without a win on the Tour this year.
French champion Arnaud Demare took third place and Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.
"I've always dreamt of winning a stage on the Tour de France," Kristoff, who snatched his major victory when he won Milan-San Remo this year, told a news conference.
"It's the second biggest win of my career."
A five-man breakaway was reduced to four when Spain's David de la Cruz went down hard on a bend and pulled out with a suspected broken collarbone.
Then they were just two, Dutchman Sebastian Langeveld and Simon Clarke of Australia on their own ahead of a bunch led by Europcar and Giant-Shimano who were looking to set up their sprinters for the finale.
Europcar played another card, however, with Frenchmen Perrig Quemeneur and Cyril Gauthier attacking to join Clarke after the Australian had shaken off Langeveld. Continued...