Former green jersey record holder Erik Zabel has said that he feels ‘honoured’ that his long-standing record of six victories in the points classification at the Tour de France has now been broken by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Sagan claimed a seventh green jersey on Sunday, capping a superb Tour for Bora-Hansgrohe, who also garnered a fourth place overall with Emanuel Buchmann and a stage win for Sagan in the first week.
“Honestly, there’s nothing I can do about this situation and, in any case, I can’t imagine a better new record holder than Peter Sagan,” Zabel told Cyclingnews.
“If you look back at the last decade of pro cycling, I think Peter has been the best all-rounder. So losing a record to him… it’s not so painful to be second behind him; it’s more an honour.”
Zabel took the Tour’s green jersey for six years on the trot between 1996 and 2001, as well as the Vuelta a España’s equivalent title from 2002 to 2004, but his achievements were overshadowed by a subsequent confession of doping for part of his career.
“Honestly, I was ready to give the record over to him two years ago, and then Peter was expelled for whatever reasons, but I think we all agree he would have won that year. He’d have eight by now,” Zabel said.
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