News: Peter Sagan Crashes at Tour of Flanders

Renowned as one of the best bike handlers, BORA-hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan crashed in the Tour of Flanders

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News: Peter Sagan Crashes at Tour of Flanders

BORA-hansgrohe’s Press Release

The second of cycling’s Monuments, the Tour of Flanders, is undoubtedly one of the toughest races of the cycling calendar.

The testing terrain is one thing, but there is still so much more to ruin the chances of the rider with their eye on the win. The defending champion, BORA-hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan, saw his chances fall by the wayside after a crash in the final 20km when he was pushing hard to make the catch on Gilbert’s solo breakaway.

Having won the event in style last year, the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, knew only too well how hard the race would be. While he made it look easy in 2016, the Tour of Flanders is anything but that. The 260km distance is energy-sapping, the five cobbled sections are brutal, and the eighteen climbs are enough to strike fear into the strongest one-day rider.

The infamous Kapelmuur – known affectionately simply as ‘The Wall’ with its 19.8% maximum gradient – made a return to the race, while the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg combo remained, both to test riders during the race, as well as to set riders up for the finale.

The opening 100km was flatter, willing a breakaway to make its move earlier in the day rather than later, and a group of eight took up the challenge. Not posing any substantial threat to the favourites, they were allowed to go on up the road, quickly building up an advantage of more than ten minutes. As the break hit eleven minutes as the first climbs came into view, this caused the peloton to snap into gear and the chasers started pulling harder to control the gap.

As with all of the classics, positioning is paramount. While the Kapelmuur, with its 9.3% average gradient, may have appeared too far out from the finish to have an impact on the outcome of the race, this was where the decisive move came. With almost 100km still to race, a group of twenty at the head of the peloton made their escape, with some of the race’s favourites in their midst. While BORA-hansgrohe’s Maciej Bodnar was among these riders, Peter was not, and the escapees quickly built up a lead of a minute on the peloton, who did not appear eager to work together to make the catch. However, a lot could still happen in the last 100km.
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The fireworks came with 50km remaining. An audacious solo attack by Quick-Step Floors’ Gilbert was met by the peloton upping the pace to a ferocious speed. It was here that Peter made his move, taking four others with him to eat away at Gilbert’s advantage. While the Slovak rider showed no sign of giving up, having missed the first break, a crash with 17km to go floored the UCI World Champion. While he climbed back on his bike, it was clear that as the engine of the driving force in the chasing group, the race to make the catch had ended. While Gilbert took the win, Peter crossed the line a couple of minutes later, clearly disappointed with the day’s outcome.

“The Tour of Flanders lived up to its reputation”, the UCI World Champion said from the finish. “It was a complicated race, but I felt I was in good form and in a position that would have allowed me to reach Gilbert in the final stretch. Unfortunately, my crash at the Oude Kwaremont meant it was all over and that was a pity because the team did a tremendous job to help me and keep me safe. I don’t know how I crashed but these things are a part of cycling.”

Next Sunday’s race needs no introduction – the 115th Hell of the North is almost here. The top prize at the most famous one-day race in the world has so far eluded the UCI World Champion, but Paris-Roubaix is the race every classics rider dreams of taking. With a hard, 257km parcours featuring no fewer than 29 cobblestone sectors totalling 55km of brutal, jagged, jarring terrain. Finishing in the famed Roubaix Velodrome, come rain or shine, this is always a race not to be missed.



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