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“I’ve never raced the Eneco Tour before but it’s a race that suits my strengths and together with a strong team I think that we can go for some good results."

Photo: Sirotti






17.09.2016 @ 18:43 Posted by Tobias Munck Sørensen

Following a successful racing trip to Canada, with a win at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and a second place in Montréal, Peter Sagan will continue his pursuit of WorldTour points at the Eneco Tour as he looks to regain his top-spot in the UCI individual rider rankings. He will head to the race straight from participating at the European road race championships in Plumelec, Brittany, this Sunday.


Sagan will be joined in the seven-day race, starting in the Netherlands and finishing in Belgium, by a strong line-up able to challenge across all of the various stages and terrains the race offers. Maciej Bodnar will lead the team’s time trialling hopes, with the Russian duo of Pavel Brutt and Nikolay Trusov adding firepower to the roster. Matteo Tosatto, Erik Baška and Oscar Gatto add to the team’s sprint support around Peter, while the versatile Michael Valgren could also shine in the overall classification.


“It was great to get back on track in Québec and Montréal last weekend, and I really wasn’t expecting to win so that was good to confirm the legs were still there,” Peter Sagan told ahead of the race. “I’ve never raced the Eneco Tour before but it’s a race that suits my strengths and together with a strong team I think that we can go for some good results.


“There’s a strong field but with the guys we’ve got here I think we can make the racing and go for it every stage. It has already been a long season and I will go straight into the race from the European Championships on Sunday so I will see how my legs recover. But we're motivated to get into the action and to see what we can do.”


The race gets underway with an opening road stage that should suit a bunch sprint. However, with a parcours that skirts the coast line, the race runs the risk of being exposed to winds which could have an impact on the stage. A short, 9.6km individual time trial follows, which shouldn’t see huge time gaps, and with a course that suits the powerful riders, Bodnar will be looking to target a result here.



The following days represent a mix of sprint stages combined with tougher days that take in elements of the spring classics, including cobblestones, short climbs and the potential to encounter crosswinds.


A team time trial on stage 5 will see all the guys band together for a collective effort, before the final two stages that start to take in some more climbing before the finish. Stage 7 in particular will be key for the fight for the overall, with the race finishing in Geraardsbergen, where the 2016 winner will be confirmed.


Sport Director, Tristan Hoffman, heads to the race in charge of a strong Tinkoff team that’s capable of shining here over the course of the week.


“Of course with Peter here, he will be our absolute leader. And we have some strong guys around him including Bodnar who should be up there in the time trial. Then we have Valgren who could be a possibility for the overall fight depending on how the race develops, but our principle focus is Peter.


“Eneco is known as the sprinters race and there are lots of time bonifications to watch out for, with two sprints every day with 3, 2 and 1 seconds on offer. Then you have the ‘Golden Sprints’ where there’s more time available, and these come later in the stages so they will be interesting. There are several days that suit Peter’s strengths and I think the team time trial could also be a good one for the guys when you look at who we have here. There’s a very strong start list here, probably one of the strongest I’ve seen, and it also depends on how the first four stages go.”



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