Peter Sagan claims second stage victory at Tour de Suisse
Peter Sagan sprinted to victory on stage eight at the Tour de Suisse after a hotly-contested finale.
Last Updated: 16/06/13 6:12pm
The Slovakian benefited from the work done by his Cannondale squad to capture his second stage of the race in Bad Ragaz from a reduced peloton.
Matters were complicated by the third category Steig ramp with 6.3 kilometres to go, the climb thinning out the peloton on the run-in with a number of sprinters distanced.
Daniele Benatti (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) and world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) were Sagan's closest challengers at the line in the late afternoon sun.
The bunch kick played into the hands of Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) who held on to yellow for another day, yet the Swiss rider will face an intense fight on Sunday's deciding time trial as he bids to win his home race.
2012 race winner Rui Costa (Movistar) remains just 13 seconds back with Roman Kreuziger (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) another 10 seconds down.
Earlier the remaining 152 riders headed out of Zernez ahead of the final road stage of the race over 180.5km.
In stark contrast to recent stages the day's break attacked and immediately went clear on the opening drag towards the first category Julierpass. Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel Euskadi), Manuele Mori (Lampre-ISD), Maxime Bouet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) pushing ahead to the tune of five minutes.
With much of the stage spent descending, the peloton kept the quartet at a manageable distance with Orica-GreenEDGE, Argos-Shimano and Cannondale all contributing towards the chance of a stage win.
With 26km to go and the peloton baring down Hollenstein hit out of the break, yet it wasn't long before the race came back together with 17km remaining ahead of the final sting in the tail.
The late climb posed no problems for Sagan who policed attacks from the front of the peloton before slotting back into his lead-out train for a comfortable win.