Sagan and Greipel out of Driedaagse De Panne
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sagan and Greipel out of Driedaagse De Panne

by VeloNation Press at 6:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Duo join Boonen as non-starters on stage three

Peter SaganStage one winner and former race leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Lotto Belisol leader Andre Greipel have both withdrawn from the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde race, opting not to start this morning’s penultimate stage.

Sagan is one of the top favourites for Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen and appears to be trying to ensure he stays out of trouble and is as fresh as possible for what would be his first major Classic win. He triumphed in last Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem and then won a sprint from a breakaway on Tuesday.

He sat up towards the end of yesterday’s second stage of the race, with Flanders currently on his mind. He will now rest and shape his training in order to be as sharp as possible for Sunday.

Speaking before the race, director sportif Stefano Zanatta had hinted that Sagan would not necessarily be the team’s main focus in the event. “Sagan will have to pay attention and not risk too much, but the rest of the team and Viviani especially will aim to be active,” he said.

Greipel also opted not to start today. His team explained the withdrawal via Twitter. “He has a bit of a sore throat and as a precaution he has left the Three Days,” it stated.

He had hoped to clock up a stage win in the race but missed the break on day one and then mistimed his finishing effort yesterday. He had to be satisfied with twelfth place as a result.

The two riders join Tom Boonen on the sidelines, but will all hope to be major protagonists on Sunday. Boonen said yesterday evening that the knee he injured in his Gent Wevelgem crash was improving, but that he had decided to stop.

“The knee is quite good, even if it hurts a bit when I am full gas,” he said. “But I can live with it.

“Now it's important to recover well at home in the next 24 hours and on Friday I will join the rest of the team to get into the mood of the race.”

Arnaud Démare (FDJ) started this morning’s stage as leader of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.


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