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Sagan takes first win as Covid positives hit Giro badly

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Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan

AP

Peter Sagan

Triple world champion Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe earned his first stage victory in the Giro d'Italia after he soloed to claim the 10th stage in wet conditions yesterday, hours after two teams pulled out due to positive Covid-19 cases.

Slovak Sagan, 30, won the 177km mountain trek between Lanciano and Tortoreto in a time of just over four hours with UAE Team Emirates' American rider Brandon McNulty finishing second, 19 seconds behind.

Victory gave Sagan his first win in over a year since claiming the fifth stage on the 2019 Tour de France where he won the green jersey.

"I'm very happy. What can I say, finally," Sagan said in a post-race interview. "I've been trying since we started the season again with Strade Bianche, San Remo, the Tour de France. I was, a lot of times, on the podium or top five.

"I didn't have a plan (for a solo attack). I'd already accepted second, third, fourth place. But after, I just let it go... Finally I won with my style. Taking victory was special."

Portuguese Joao Almeida of Deceuninck-Quickstep extended his lead at the top of the general classification to 34 seconds as he finished third with a time bonus.

Shortly before the race resumed yesterday after Monday's rest day, Jumbo-Visma announced they would withdraw all eight riders in the wake of Steven Kruijswijk's positive test. Testing led directly to the withdrawal of 14 riders with the Mitchelton-Scott team also withdrawing from the race entirely after four staff members tested positive.