Sagan puts Covid woes behind him with Catalonia stage win

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Slovakia's Peter Sagan won stage six after an escape was reeled in just before the line

Peter Sagan won a frantic stage six of the Tour of Catalonia on Saturday as Adam Yates held on to his comfortable overall lead.

Sagan and the peloton only caught the day's escape group 200m from the line after a 194km run along the Costa Brava.

No shake up had been expected on this rolling sixth stage, a prelude to a tricky circuit showdown in the finale on Montjuic in Barcelona on Sunday.

Three-time world champion Sagan of the Bora team appears to have refound top form after a recent bout of Covid.

Slovak Sagan took the stage with a perfectly timed sprint, finishing well clear of Daryl Impey of Israel Startup Nation.

"After what happened in the last two months it wasn't easy," Sagan said referring to his Covid.

"Now it looks nice."

This was his first win since stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia last October.

Ineos Grenadiers go into Sunday's circuit run around Barcelona occupying all three top spots.

Yates leads Australian Richie Porte by 45 seconds with Welsh 2020 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas in third at 49.

Ineos will come under pressure from a clutch of teams Sunday on six laps of a Barcelona circuit and the short, sharp, climb near the 1992 Olympic Stadium.

"Tomorrow's finale always produces fireworks," Ineos Grenadiers tweeted after Saturday's racing.

"Our 1-2-3 on GC remains with one stage to go," they said.

It will take a meltdown by Yates to give up his minute lead on Alejandro Valverde of Movistar in fourth or Wilco Kelderman of Bora in fifth.