The Green Machine sprints to a Hat Trick at the Tour

Peter Sagan out-sprinted Kristoff and Demare, on a transitionary stage as the Tour heads south towards the Pyrenees

It was a slower day at the Tour, a brief respite from three brutal stages that saw lots of riders abandon, due to time limits and injuries.

GC favorites Rigoberto Uran and Vincenzo Nibali both out due to injuires. Gaviria, Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Greipel climbed off on yesterday's brutal stage to L'Alpe d'Huez.

Sprint favorites Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) where left to contest the sprint finishes.

Three days in the mountains finally came to an end, and while on yesterday’s profile there were three Hors Catégorie climbs – the hardest the race – today’s stage didn’t even have three categorised climbs. The 169.5 km route of Stage 13 made its way west out of Bourg d’Oisans, through Grenoble and then down to Valence, climbing a third category and fourth category climb. The flat finale was meant for those that were left after the mountains and would have a chance to fight it out for the win.

A group of four riders broke away and built up an advantage of more than three minutes – the peloton really not giving them too much time. With the pace being much faster on the flat roads, the kilometres were ticking by quickly, and at the intermediate sprint, UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, took third from the peloton, the pace rose sharply.

While the break had high hopes, by the time the race hit the last 25km, only one escapee was left, the catch was eventually made with 6 kms to go.

The roads narrowed dramatically on the streets of Valence and it was hard to find a position with the tight turns. An attack from 1km out by Phillipe Gilbert nearly succeeded, but Sagan followed wheels and launched his sprint late, to take his third stage win of this year’s Tour de France.

"This is a fantastic victory. I'm so happy to have won, it was something very good for me, personally. Once again, I have to thank my teammates for their dedication and work. It was a flat stage after the tough mountains, so everybody recovered a little bit in the group. I think they all seemed happy to stay in the bunch and go through a more relaxed stage. My timing in the sprint might now seem perfect but I think I was probably a little bit late. I was a bit behind with 600 meters to go and on the last climb, I tried to bring myself to the front. I then stayed on the wheel of Kristoff and I'm very happy to have beaten them. However, the Tour de France is far from over. We have to make sure we stay out of trouble, we get to Paris healthy and we cross the finish line on the Champs-Elysées."Peter Sagan, UCI World Champion

VIDEO: 2018 Tour de France Stage 13 Summary

2018 Tour de France Stage 13 Top Ten

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:45:55 
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates   
3 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ   
4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo   
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team   
6 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors   
7 Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team   
8 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert   
9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida   
10 Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale

2018 Tour de France GC after Stage 13

1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 53:10:38 
2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:39 
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50 
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:46 
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:07 
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:13 
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:43 
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:13 
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:11 
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:05:45

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