Peter Sagan is heading into his first Tour of Flanders this weekend and admits that he knows nothing about the course. While the 21-year-old confessed, “I still have much to learn,” his team manger thinks he can finish in the top ten on Sunday.
Sagan made his pro debut last season with Liquigas, and exploded onto the scene with five wins and numerous top placings. "I have new responsibilities, but after my first year as a professional I know what I'm worth,” he told Sportwereld. “I know how I can win. "
The Slovak already has four wins this season, taking three stages along the way to the overall title at the Tour of Sardinia. Most recently, he shone in Gent-Wevelgem, as part of a break group which was caught only near the end of the race.
For the Tour of Flanders this weekend, he confessed to knowing “Precious little. Sorry, I don't know. The Bosberg? My apologies, I cannot imagine it. On Friday, we will do a route reconnaissance. I still have much to learn. "
"Last year I first discovered the Flemish Ardennes. I rode the opening weekend and Paris-Roubaix. Gent-Wevelgem and now all that follows. I ride this time both the Flemish and Walloon cycling monuments. I'll mostly gain experience. "
He has not let his successes go to his head. “I must be honest: I still have much to learn from guys like Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert. I will watch them closely, but I am still not at the same level.”
Team manager Stefano Zanatta is more optimistic than his young rider. “He reminds me of the young Paolo Bettini. He is quick, can go hard on the small climbs and above all he has strong willpower.”