Sagan hunting WorldTour points in Eneco Tour

World champion sits second behind Quintana in standings

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) will lead a strong squad at the Enenco Tour, making his debut in the race as he looks to regain the top spot at the head of the WorldTour rankings.

The World road race champion was knocked off the top spot after Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the Vuelta a Espana, but a win in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, and second in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal, helped Sagan keep in touch. He sits second in the rankings on 585 points, with Quintana on 609. With third placed rider Chris Froome (Team Sky) not set to race again this season, it looks like a two-man race for the WorldTour lead.

The WorldTour points are more of an objective for his team, however, with Sagan typically more concerned with winning bike racings and finding his form ahead of his Worlds defence next month in Doha.

"It was great to get back on track in Québec and Montréal last weekend, and I really wasn't expecting to win so that was good to confirm the legs were still there," he said in a statement released by the team.

"I’ve never raced the Eneco Tour before but it's a race that suits my strengths and together with a strong team I think that we can go for some good results."

Sagan will race the European Championships in France on Sunday before taking a private flight to the Eneco Tour.

"There's a strong field but with the guys we've got here I think we can make the racing and go for it every stage. It has already been a long season and I will go straight into the race from the European Championships on Sunday so I will see how my legs recover. But we're motivated to get into the action and to see what we can do."

The Tinkoff team for the race also includes Polish national time trial champion Maciej Bodnar and Michael Valgren but the team's director, Tristan Hoffman, has made it clear that Sagan is the main focus of the squad's ambitions.

"Of course with Peter here, he will be our absolute leader. And we have some strong guys around him including Bodnar who should be up there in the time trial. Then we have Valgren who could be a possibility for the overall fight depending on how the race develops, but our principle focus is Peter.

"Eneco is known as the sprinters race and there are lots of time bonifications to watch out for, with two sprints every day with 3, 2 and 1 seconds on offer. Then you have the 'Golden Sprints' where there's more time available, and these come later in the stages so they will be interesting. There are several days that suit Peter's strengths and I think the team time trial could also be a good one for the guys when you look at who we have here. There's a very strong start list here, probably one of the strongest I've seen, and it also depends on how the first four stages go."

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