Cannondale duo create successful Classics partnership
Peter Sagan crossed the finish line of Strade Bianche celebrating has if he'd won the race himself, clearly happy, at least for now, to share success with his Cannondale teammate Moreno Moser.
Parts of the Italian media have questioned if the two talented young Classics riders can coexist in the same team. But after Moser helped Sagan win the GP d Camaiore on Thursday, the Slovakian was happy to pay back his Italian teammate and collect the flowers for second place.
Sagan generously chased down a number of attacks from the chasing group in the finale of the race, ensuring that Moser had enough of an advantage to win alone. Only then did he think of himself, surging away to take second place ahead of Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
"Our unity is our strength. I was second but I think we've all won today," Sagan told Cyclingnews after celebrating on the podium with Moser.
"We knew that everyone would be watching me and Cancellara, so we used Moreno as the ace up our sleeve. He managed to get away at the right moment and then took advantage of getting across to the break. He focused on winning, while I controlled things behind. Then I finished things off by taking second place."
Sagan and Moser will make a formidable duo in the Classics yet their different rider characteristics mean they have slightly different goals.
Both will ride Tirreno-Adriatico and target Milano-Sanremo. Then Sagan will focus on the cobbled Classics in Belgium, while Moser will ride the Coppi & Bartali stage race before targeting the Ardennes Classics. The only conflict of ambition could come at Milano-Sanremo and Amstel Gold Race.
"I was happy to control things behind for Moreno," Sagan said, after swapping a smile with Moser in the podium area.
"Some riders were cursing and swearing at me but I was just doing my job and wasn't bothered about what they were saying. I didn’t think I'd have the legs to take second place because I chased down lots of moves in the final 20km. But then on the climb I just went for it. We deserved first and second place."
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