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"I had to ride 40 km with different measures and finally, when I had the chance to have my bike from the team car, I had to recover. The feeling was good only in the second part of the race," Sagan says

Photo: Sirotti




28.03.2014 @ 20:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Peter Sagan put his Milan-Sanremo disappointment behind him when he took a beautiful win in today's Tour of Flanders dress rehearsal at the E3 Harelbeke. The Slovakian was slightly distanced on the Oude Kwaremont before getting back to the front and said he paid the price for an earlier crash.


Peter Sagan claimed a great victory today on the cobbles of E3 Harelbeke, his first Belgium classic of the season. In a thrilling finale comprised of Niki Terpstra (OPQS), Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Stijn Vandenbergh (OPQS) the Green Machine team leader showed a great condition and won the race with a powerful sprint.


This is the Slovakian Champion’s third victory of the season after stage wins at Tour of Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico. This is also Sagan’s 61st career victory.


“This win in Harelbeke it’s very important for me and the competition with so many strong riders makes the success more precious. I’m very happy for me and for my teammates, who worked a lot for this result,” said Sagan, who last year finished second. “After Milano-Sanremo I immediately turned the page. This morning I was really determined to test my condition in a normal situation and the result was great. It has been the best way to start the Belgium classics season and a big boost of confidence for the next events.


“After 100 km I was involved in a crash with my teammate Oscar Gatto, and I had to change my bike with Marangoni, the only one who has my same frame. I had to ride 40 km with different measures and finally, when I had the chance to have my bike from the team car, I had to recover. The feeling was good only in the second part of the race. To win a classic you need to ride hard, to have a good condition and to be also lucky. I think that Cancellara had bad luck today - I think he could have been with us in the finale to play his card.


“In the finale I wasn’t sure to have many chances to win. I wasted a lot of energy due to the crash and on the Kwaremont I’ve been also distanced. In that moment I just thought to stay in the front and to see the development of the race. I knew Terpesta could be a strong competitor as well as Thomas. Only when I sprinted and I saw that no one able to pass me I understood I could win.


"They decided that they wouldn’t pull in the last five kilometres because they were waiting for Boonen in the sprint, but in the end, I decided to wait and see how my legs were in the sprint, too.



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