fast little loans
Trimbach/Olten - On-form Slovakian Peter Sagan claimed his third win in four days at the Tour of Switzerland on Tuesday when he sprinted unhindered to victory in the rain-hit fourth stage.
The winner of the opening stage time-trial on Saturday ahead of Swiss specialist Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack), Sagan claimed a narrow sprint victory over Australian Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge) on Monday.
On Tuesday's 188.8km ride from Aarberg to Trimbach/Olten there were plenty of late attacks and counter-attacks in a bid to avoid a repeat of another win for the Slovakian.
The last attack, composed of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Martin Elminger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Sky), was swallowed up with three kilometres to go.
From then on it was a fight to get to the front for the imminent bunch finish, and when BMC's Marcus Burghardt attacked off the front inside the last 300 metres it was the signal for Sagan to make his move.
The big Slovakian cruised past his German rival and powered to the finish line where Spaniard Jose Joaquin Rojas, one of several riders condemned to fighting for the lower placings, finished second a full bike length behind.
Sagan, who is likely to be among the medal favourites for the men's Olympic road race in London this August, was quick to pay tribute to the team's first-year professional Moreno Moser.
“I don't know how it would have gone without the super work done by Moreno, “ said Sagan.
“He shut down every attack at the end of the race, letting me do the sprint I wanted: big thanks to Moreno and I hope I can return the favour soon.”
Sagan admitted the pace and the demanding weather conditions had left him doubtful over his chances of a win.
“At the start I didn't know quite what to expect from today's race. The weather and the pace of the race made for a tight stage that was difficult to manage,” he added.
“I tried to save as much energy as possible hoping for a small bunch finish. The final sprint wasn't easy to set up because there wasn't a proper train.
“Holding onto to the first positions was crucial, and then I took my chance when Burghardt jumped and accelerated so no one could catch me.”
Portugal's Rui Costa, of Movistar, who took the lead after his stage victory on Sunday, finished with the overall victory favourites to retain his yellow jersey and eight-second lead on Luxembourg's Frank Schleck (RadioShack).
Another victory contender, Czech Roman Kreuziger (Astana), is third at 15 while Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) remains in seventh place at 23.
Sagan, who won five stages at the Tour of California last month and has had a handful of top five finishes in major one-day classics this season, now has five stage wins from the race in two years. - Sapa-AFP