Sagan makes apologies, back in competition in Brabantse Pijl
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sagan makes apologies, back in competition in Brabantse Pijl

by Shane Stokes at 8:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Brabantse Pijl
 
Slovakian rider readying himself for Ardennes Classics, could retake WorldTour lead

Peter SaganHaving being in the headlines for two reasons the last time he raced, netting second in the Tour of Flanders and then inappropriately pinching a presentation girl on the podium of that race, Peter Sagan returned to racing today in the Brabantse Pijl.

Prior to the event, which is currently ongoing, the Slovakia rider gave a bouquet of flowers plus an apology to the podium girl in question, Maja Leye. She accepted the apology and Sagan then lined out in the 200 kilometre Belgium race.

Sagan will aim for a strong result, but his main goal in the race and in tomorrow’s Grand Prix de Denain in France is to get himself ready for Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, the first of the Ardennes Classics.

Sagan is targeting victory in the even and if that goes well, will also start Flèche Wallonne with similar ambitions. He was third last year in Amstel and should be one of the top favourites for the Classic.

Having led the UCI WorldTour prior to being bumped to second by the Paris-Roubaix victor Fabian Cancellara, he has the additional incentive of knowing he will take over the top slot again if he performs well on Sunday.

Sagan will share team leadership with Moreno Moser today and tomorrow. The duo worked very well together in Strade Bianche to net second and first respectively, and will seek to continue that successful partnership in the races.

Cannondale Pro Cycling directeur sportif Alberto Volpi is confident that they can pull out a result, although he stressed that Sagan shouldn’t feel under pressure.

“We have the right riders to go for a good result either in Brabante or Denain,” he said. “Moser and Caruso will be free to race for themselves due to the route that suits them and their good form. Of course Sagan will be a point of reference for the team, but he must not to feel the obligation to win at all costs.”

Moser is also targeting the Ardennes Classics and has just returned from an eleven-day altitude training camp. He hopes that block of work will put him in top condition. Last year, the-then first year pro had a modest showing in the races, but bounced back to win the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt. He later went on to take a stage plus the overall classification in the Tour de Pologne.

They will be backed by Damiano Caruso, who also attended the training camp with Moser, plus Stefano Agostini, Daniele Ratto, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Ted King and Lucas Haedo.

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