Team News – Sagan 2nd at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad


Strong start to cobbled classics as World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) takes second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Team News – Sagan 2nd at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad


Heading into the day as one of the pre-race favourites, World Champion Peter Sagan did not disappoint in Belgium at the opening cobbled classic of the season with a strong display just missing out on victory.

At the end of 200.8km of racing, Peter, with number 1 on his back, was out paced in the kick to the line after over 50km at the front of the race in the day’s winning breakaway.

“For this time of the season I felt pretty good,” said Peter after the finish. “It’s one month now since my last race, and I’ve just been preparing and training in Sierra Nevada. It was a hard race today and in the finale I felt like in one or two weeks I’ll be better. But for now, it’s already a good sign.”

The racing kicked off over dry roads in usual fashion, with an early breakaway of 12 establishing itself at the front of the race and quickly establishing a gap. After just 20km of racing the escapees had over five minutes advantage, with the Tinkoff riders concentrating their efforts behind on protecting Peter ahead of the day’s difficulties.

The day’s decisive moment came on the Taaienberg with just over 55km to race when the winning move was formed. Reacting to a strong attack over the short, sharp climb, Peter made his move and jumped across to a small split forming a four-man group in pursuit of the leaders.

Quickly pulling clear of the peloton, the gap soon grew with the addition of those still out front. Working well together, the advantage remained at around a minute before the group was reduced to seven with 25km to go.

Peter piled on the pressure on the final cobbled section of the day with 20km to go, further splitting the group and forming the five riders that would contest the finish together.



On the run in to Gent the peloton started to make inroads, closing down the gap but the leaders had enough of an advantage to contest the finish amongst themselves. With the five leaders staying together, Greg van Avermaet (BMC) led out the sprint on the uphill drag to the line and despite pushing hard to come around, Peter could not make up the ground with a runner’s up spot the outcome for the World Champion in his first European outing of the season.

“The break went a bit early,” Peter added. “We worked well together but in the finale I saw the gap was coming down so I made two or three accelerations on the cobbles and this took it out of me. I started to cramp in the final kilometres and Greg is in better shape than me with a few more race days. But there are more important races to come.”

“Also, it was great to race here in the rainbow jersey – it’s a great race with a special atmosphere.”

Tomorrow the team heads to the second in a double header of Belgian races at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne for a second shot at victory.



Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK