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Sagan back in action at Brabantse Pijl

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
April 10, 2013, 08:21,
Updated:
April 10, 2013, 09:53
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Race:
De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne
2013 Tour of Flanders runner-up Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

2013 Tour of Flanders runner-up Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

  • 2013 Tour of Flanders runner-up Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
  • Gent-Wevelgem winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
  • "Fabian's the man!", says Peter Sagan on the Tour of Flanders podium.

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Cannondale rider set to apologise to Belgian podium girl in person

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is back in Belgium for today's Brabantse Pijl race as he prepares for the final Classics of his spring campaign: the Amstel Gold Race and possibly next Wednesday's Fleche-Wallonne.

The Slovakian has not been seen since his video apology to podium girl Maja Leye after his behaviour on the Tour of Flanders podium. The two are expected to meet at the Brabantse Pijl because Maja works for race organiser Flanders Classics.

"I'll see her again and I hope I can find a way for her to forgive me," Sagan told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It was a joke. What else do you think it was? The problem is that some people didn’t understand it. But I apologised to her because she didn’t like it."

Sagan spent some time training in Madrid with Manuel Quinziato but admitted he eased off a little and will ride the Brabantse Pijl and Thursday's GP de Denain in northern France to test his form before the Amstel Gold Race.

Despite a lack of training, Sagan is still confident of victory in the Limburg hills.

"I took my foot off the gas a bit after the Tour of Flanders and I've only done rides of up to four hours," he said.

"These next two races will help get back to my best and on Sunday I hope to be up there to try and win. I was third in 2012 and seeing that I've improved all my results… The Amstel Gold race will also help me understand what to do for Fleche-Wallonne. If I don’t go well on Sunday, I'll go home, otherwise I'll keep going and try and win on the Muur of Huy. For sure I won't do Liege-Bastogne-Liege."

Sagan will face a new set of rivals in the Ardennes, with the climbers and stage race riders arriving from the Tour of the Basque Country, the Circuit Sarthe and training camps at altitude. He does not seem worried about the new, fresher competition he will face in the Ardennes hills.

"Bring it on. They change but I haven't," he said. "I'm still on form and to beat me they'll have to go really well," he said, staying true to character.
 

Steveo More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to see how Gilbert stands up to Peter Sagan. The great thing about having Sagan in most races is that he's automatically the favourite, setting things up for a great battle. How much better was Flanders with him there to push Cancellara to his limit? There are many great races to come, cycling is defined by the variety of characters that make up it's champions, light up the races. Good times ahead!
TShame More than 1 year ago
What did he do to the podium girl? Very poor report above claiming he needs to apologize but not say anything else.
Jeffrey Jenkins More than 1 year ago
Have you been hiding under a rock. LOL His pinching incident at Flanders was all over the news.
TShame More than 1 year ago
I watched the race, I didn't watch the ceremony. I don't follow bits like that. I just think the writer of the article did a poor job after the original title spoke of "Sagan to apologize". PS Real men don't LOL. (L. Armstrong)
Jeffrey Jenkins More than 1 year ago
You didn't have to see the awards ceremony. It was in the news (not just cycling news) for many days following and all over social media. PS I take all that L. Armstrong has to say with a grain of salt. Like what he says really matters.
peter16x More than 1 year ago
Go Peter and win the race today!..... and kiss Maja ;)
Marino Gallo More than 1 year ago
welcome back, peter … now rip their legs off!
pwkelly More than 1 year ago
"The problem is that some people didn't understand it." What a joke, that is not an apology, it is blaming other people for his actions. If I did the same thing in my work place I would have a sexual harassment case filed against me. The UCI should stand up for her, and Sagan should be held more accountable.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
We have people calling him a sexual harasser to people who think it's a joke. Regardless of where one fits on this spectrum I think it is clear that while wearing a sponsor's jersey on the podium of an international event that this was an incredibly stupid and thoughtless act. It's clear he still does not understand. Watching his apology I was directed to a Facebook page and judging by the comments of supports mostly by his countrymen I can only assume perhaps there is something cultural here (benefit of the doubt), but on a podium? Make no mistake, I like Sagan, he is a great racer and seems like a sincerely nice guy, but this move was definitely not classy (must get by the forum censor here...LOL)
Michal Habrman More than 1 year ago
Well we should take into account that the culture of South Europe and Eastern Europe is more benevolent to such action than north-western Europe and USA. He comes from eastern Europe and lives now in Italy. That interpret his action a lot.
klogione More than 1 year ago
I agree.. it was a stupid joke.. but definitely NO sexual harassment... We have one wise saw in Slovakia... "Only swine dreams about corn-cobs all the time..." End...