World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) may not have won the overall title at the Eneco Tour but his third place overall was enough to move him back into the overall lead of the UCI WorldTour ranking ahead of the final round at Il Lombardia. Upon the conclusion of the seven-day race, Sagan said he is tired and unsure whether he will compete at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar on October 16.
Sagan started Eneco Tour with a specific target of picking up points toward the standings. currently leads the series standings with 669 points ahead of runner-up and Vuelta a Espana winner Nairo Quintana (Movisar), who has 609 points and third placed and Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), who has 564 points.
“I'm very happy that, although I didn't win the Eneco Tour, my third place gives me a lot of points to regain my leadership at the UCI WorldTour individual ranking. It's been a long season and I will now get some needed rest,” Sagan said after the final stage.
“I’m not sad [to lose the Eneco Tour title], why? I won everything I could. Eneco Tour changes nothing for me. I got third, got lots of points for the UCI [WorldTour] and now I’m leading the UCI rankings. I won more than anyone else here.”
At the Eneco Tour, Sagan won stage 3 and stage 4, which put him in to the overall lead for one day. He lost that lead following the team time trial to Rohan Dennis (BMC).
Although he tried to force a breakaway during the rainy finale stage 7, Sagan wasn’t able to form a committed group and says that riders refused to work with him. He still managed to finish third overall upon the conclusion on Sunday.
“It was a very hard race for the last day and the weather was bad with rain but I’m very happy I didn’t crash. I came up to third place [overall] but against everyone, it is very hard to race. I wanted to come back in the front group but no one wanted to work with me. It’s like that, what can I do? It’s cycling, it’s unfair and I just do my best.
“Everyone was racing to not win, just to be beaten, and I don’t understand. It’s a part of cycling.”
Dennis ended up crashing and abandoning the final stage and Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) won the overall title ahead of Oliver Naesen (IAM Cycling) with Sagan in third.
Sagan's team Tinkoff is also vying for the top spot in the WorldTour team rankings. They are currently sitting behind leaders Movistar. Movistar have 1431 points, while Tinkoff have 1361 points. Team Sky is in third with 1187.
Sagan won the world title in Richmond last year but played down his participation at this year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar. When asked if he would be in the middle east to defend his title he said he wasn’t sure if he would be there, saying he was tired.
“We will see,” Sagan said. “I still have to think about it. It’s been a long season. Here in Eneco and then I did one race more at the European Championships. I’m tired. I have a lot of things to do. I’m happy the season is almost finished.”