YOUNG Slovakian Peter Sagan scored his second win in three stages, topping the crash-marred 197-kilometer ride from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-mer in the Tour de France.
The 22-year-old Sagan, who won the first stage in Belgium, made his move with around 300 meters to go to win one second ahead of Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen and Slovakia’s Peter Velits on Wednesday (Manila time).
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retained the overall lead for the fourth-straight day.
Cancellara holds a seven-second lead over Britain’s Bradley Wiggins and Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel, last year’s champion Cadel Evans is in seventh place, 17 seconds behind, while Sagan is a further six seconds back.
There were at least four crashes during the stage, forcing several riders to abandon the race including Sky rider Kanstantsin Sivtsov of Belarus, who reportedly broke his left shin.
Rabobank’s Maarten Tjallingii broke his left hip, got back on his bike to finish the stage, and was taken to a hospital to have the fracture diagnosed. Teammate Mark Renshaw was also taken to a hospital for surgery.
Movistar rider Jose Joaquin Rojas of Spain broke his collarbone in a separate crash and had to drop out.
The fourth stage moves the pack 215-kilometers from Abbeville to Rouen.