Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will need to decide between the cobbled and the Ardennes classics in the future, according to his team. The Slovak closed his campaign yesterday in Flèche Wallonne with 12th, significantly lower than the highs of late-March and early-April.
“Clearly, he didn’t arrive here with the legs that he had in Milan-San Remo and Flanders, but he came here to see if in the future it could be a race for a win, which he can,” sports director, Alberto Volpi told Cycling Weekly.
“It’s clear, though, he has to make some decisions, it’s not that he can race Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem, De Panne, Flanders, Amstel Gold and then also Flèche.”
The Saganator, just 23, followed up last year’s string of top fives with a string of top twos. After winning two stages in Tirreno-Adriatico, including a sprint against Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), he went on a podium spree in the classics: San Remo (2nd), E3 Harelbeke (2nd), Ghent-Wevelgem (1st) and Flanders (2nd).
After a break at home, skipping Paris-Roubaix, he returned to the Ardennes Classics. He said that the heat and cramps got the best of him in the Amstel Gold Race, where he placed 36th. His debut in Flèche Wallonne, where he intended to test himself and placed 12th, closed his campaign.
Cobbles or Ardennes, not both
Sagan took the first available flight from Brussels yesterday to travel home. He left as his teammates were still showering and getting dressed in the team bus. Volpi stood outside, considering Sagan’s future: Cobbles or Ardennes?
“It’s going to take some time to understand, but I’m still confident that he he should race Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem, Flanders and maybe add in Roubaix. Another year like that,” Volpi explained. “Maybe afterwards, when he matures and loses some weight, he can come here for Amstel, Flèche and Liège. I’m sure that he won’t mess up doing it that way.”
After some time in Slovakia, Sagan will return to race the Tour of California. His next goal is the Tour de France, where he hopes to win a stage and another green jersey.