Wed, Jun 13, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Sagan grabs second stage win, Rui Costa retains yellow jersey

AFP, AARBERG, SWITZERLAND

The peloton climbs toward the Lavaux Vineyard on the third stage of the Tour de Suisse, a 194.7km ride from Martigny-Ville to Aarberg, Switzerland, on Monday.

Photo: EPA

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan continued his impressive run of form by sprinting to victory in the third stage of the Tour de Suisse on Monday.

Sagan, who rides for Liquigas, won the opening stage time trial on Saturday ahead of Swiss specialist Fabian Cancellara of RadioShack to take the leader’s jersey.

Despite handing the lead over to Portugal’s Rui Costa on Sunday, the versatile Slovakian moved back into the limelight after leaving a bunch of top-notch sprinters in his wake at the end of the 194.7km ride from Martigny-Ville to Aarberg.

Australian Baden Cooke of Orica-GreenEdge was a close second, with Briton Ben Swift of Sky third. American Tyler Farrar of Garmin finished eighth, with Spanish speedster Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar in 10th.

STAGE WINS

Sagan, who won five stages on the Tour of California last month and has had a handful of top five finishes in major one-day classics this season, now has four stage wins in the Tour de Suisse in two years.

In the general classification, meanwhile, there were few changes, with Movistar rider Rui Costa still leading Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck by eight seconds overall.

HINCAPIE TO RETIRE

AFP, PARIS

George Hincapie of the US, who is set to break the record for Tour de France participations later this month, plans to retire later this summer, his BMC team announced on Monday.

Hincapie, who jointly holds the Tour de France record of 16 participations with Dutch rider Joop Zoetemelk, also competed in a record-equaling 17 Paris-Roubaix races and finished runner-up in 2005.

“This is definitely not a decision that has been easy,” said Hincapie, who will also compete in his last race in the US in August.

The New Yorker, who turns 39 later this month, is the only rider to have accompanied compatriot Lance Armstrong on his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005. Last year, he also helped Australian Cadel Evans win the race.

“I came to the conclusion that I want to go out while I can still contribute and make a difference,” the five-time Olympian said.

He added that he hopes to stay involved with the BMC team and the sport in some capacity.

“I don’t want to get completely out of cycling, but also know that I’m still feeling strong and healthy, and ready to make a contribution to the team these last two months. I’m 100 percent motivated to help Cadel win another Tour,” he said.

Hincapie turned professional in 1994 and won three US national road racing titles. He also won the Gand-Wevelgem in 2001 and the GP West-France in Plouay in 2005. He won a stage of the Tour de France in 2005 and wore the yellow jersey for a day in 2006, helping Spaniard Alberto Contador to victory the following year.

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