Skip to main content

Super Sagan wins stage as Impey stays in yellow

July 5, 2013 -- Updated 1906 GMT (0306 HKT)
Peter Sagan has time to sit up as he takes the seventh stage of the Tour de France in Albi.
Peter Sagan has time to sit up as he takes the seventh stage of the Tour de France in Albi.
  • Peter Sagan wins seventh stage of Tour de France
  • Slovakian star wins from John Degenkolb and Daniele Bennati
  • South African Daryl Impey retains yellow jersey
  • Race hits Pyrenees Saturday

(CNN) -- Slovakian Peter Sagan made up for a series of near misses to claim his first stage win on this year's Tour de France in Albi Friday.

He burst clear after 205.5km from Montepellier to win easily from Germany's John Degenkolb (Argos Shimano) and Italian Daniele Bennati (Saxo-Tinkoff).

South African Daryl Impey held on to the race leader's yellow jersey after claiming it the previous day from Orica-GreenEdge teammate Simon Gerrans of Australia.

Sagan, who has already taken a stranglehold on the green points jersey he won for the first time in last year's Tour, has been denied victory on four previous stages, but made no mistake this time after superb work from his Cannondale team.

Becoming a Tour de France champ
How has cycling recovered?
Armstrong's cycling legacy

Read: Cavendish chases 'The Cannibal'

They pushed on after the second of the day's climb which left other star sprinters such as Mark Cavendish of Britain and Germany's Andre Greipel, winner of stage six, trailing.

They came home in an 84-strong group nearly 15 minutes down, leaving Sagan to pay his compliments to his helpers.

"This was a show of how strong we are as a team," he told the official Tour de France website.

Read: Doping past haunts centenary edition of the Tour

"Even if it's not an ideal stage for me, I'll keep on trying.

"We did a lot of work on the second climb and we dropped the sprinters and the team started to believe that we could do well."

Impey, the first South African to don the yellow jersey, admitted it had been tough to hold on to it.

"There was a moment on the second climb that the pressure was on, but we handled it pretty well," he said.

Read: Gerrans claims stage first for Orica-GreenEdge

"But I was happy to see the top of that climb, that's for sure."

Sagan now has a lead of over 100 points in the battle for green, but Saturday will see the race for yellow hot up as the peloton hit the Pyrenees for the first time in the eighth stage over 195km from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines.

Impey is expected to cede the jersey as race favorites such as Chris Froome and Alberto Contador make their bid for overall domination in the mountains.

Part of complete coverage on
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1637 GMT (0037 HKT)
Photography can really pack a punch. Catch up with all the best shots from around the world with our weekly sports gallery.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1513 GMT (2313 HKT)
San Francisco 49ers owner and co-chairman John York speaks to CNN about Michael Sam and the upcoming NFL Draft.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT)
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1308 GMT (2108 HKT)
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
December 17, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is running to be president of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A competitor crosses the erg Znaigui during the second stage of the 26rd edition of the 'Marathon des Sables', on April 4, 2011, some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The marathon is considered one of the hardest in the world, with 900 participants having to walk 250 kms (150 miles) for seven days in the Moroccan Sahara.
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.