Peter Sagan to target Paris-Roubaix as Cannondale finalises 2014 calendar
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peter Sagan to target Paris-Roubaix as Cannondale finalises 2014 calendar

by Ben Atkins at 3:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
 
Slovakian makes his return to the Pavé du Nord for the first time since 2011

peter saganPeter Sagan will ride Paris-Roubaix in 2014, his Cannondale Pro Cycling team has confirmed, making an appearance on the Pavé du Nord for the first time since 2011. The Slovakian champion sat out the Queen of the Classics last year, having finished second in both Milano-Sanremo and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, as he sought to extend his Classics form until the Amstel Gold Race.

Although he is to ride Paris-Roubaix this coming spring, however, he acknowledges that a victory in such a specialist event may be a little much to expect.

“I'm very happy to have the chance to return to ride the Paris-Roubaix,” said Sagan. “It's a unique race, hard and unpredictable, and this is why it intrigues me. I don't feel I can talk about goals or make any predictions. The first time I raced it as professional in 2010 I didn't arrive in Roubaix, and one year later I finished the race in the gruppetto faraway from the leaders.

“I think it's a race in which it's important to have experience and luck, as well as to have a feel for it,” Sagan explained. “Riders such as [Fabian] Cancellara and [Tom] Boonen, for example, are specialists for Roubaix and they have a lot of experience, much more than me. I can only ensure that I'll give hundred percent to have the best result I can. I'll plan time with the team to test the pavé when we'll be close to the race because racing Paris-Roubaix takes a different way to race compared to the other races.

“Before Paris-Roubaix I will target important goals and, at the moment, more within my range,” added the Slovakian. “For me it will be just a new and exciting challenge.”

Sagan’s 2014 season will begin - as 2013 did - with the Tour de San Luis, in Argentina, followed by the new Dubai Tour, the Tour of Oman where he won two stages in 2013, and the GP Camaiore, which he also won this year. His build up to the Classics will continue at the Strade Bianche, where he finished second behind teammate Moreno Moser this year, and Tirreno-Adriatico, where he took two more of his 2013 victories.

Following the Classics, Sagan will compete at the Tour of California - where he has taken the points jersey in each of the last four editions - before building up to the Tour de France. Having taken the green jersey at the Tour in the last two years, a third consecutive title will be his big target for the summer.

Other Cannondale captains take aim at 2014 targets

Sagan’s fellow captains at Cannondale Pro Cycling have also set their main targets for 2014, with two-time Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso aiming for a third victory in the Corsa Rosa after a difficult 2013 season. The 36-year-old’s season will begin in Italy, with the Costa degli Etruschi on February 2nd, followed by the Trofeo Laigueglia, Tour of Taiwan, Volta a Catalunya, Giro del Trentino and Tour de Romandie.

Having ridden the Giro, Basso will sit out the Tour de France, but could target the Vuelta a España at the end of the season.

Sprinter Elia Viviani will also be targeting the Giro d’Italia, having made his debut in the race this year, and coming within inches of taking a stage victory on the opening day. He will begin his own 2014 campaign at the Tour Down Under in January and, following the Tour of Qatar, will ride the World Track Championships in Cali, Colombia.

After a break, Viviani will ride the Giro del Trentino and the Tour de Romandie as he builds towards the Giro d’Italia. Following the Corsa Rosa, he will ride the Critérium du Dauphiné - as he did in 2013 - before sitting out the Tour de France.

Having won the Strade Bianche in 2013, the race across the unmade roads of Tuscany will be the main target of Moreno Moser’s spring. The nephew of the great Francesco will follow a spring programme to Sagan, beginning in San Luis, Dubai and Oman before Strade Bianche, and then Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo afterwards. Their paths will then divide, however, as Sagan continues to the Cobbled Classics, while Moser targets the Ardennes.

After being drafted in to replace Ivan Basso in Cannondale’s Giro team at the last minute this year, Damiano Caruso will be the green team’s general classification rider in the Tour de France.

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