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Ride 'em cowboy: Peter Sagan (Cannondale) wins Gent-Wevelgem
Cannondale ready for tactical race on new race route
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will almost certainly end his spring campaign at the Amstel Gold Race, looking to add the only Dutch one-day Classic to his already bulging 2013 palmares.
The 23 year-old Slovakian has already this year won won Gent-Wevelgem and placed at Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke. He has also won six other races and was second at the Strade Bianche race.
Following his incredible spring and the way he beat Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) in the hills at Wednesday's Brabantse Pijl, Sagan will lead the Cannondale team, with Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso offering alternative strategies. However Sagan is likely to go in any break and still have the strength for a sprint once over the top of the Cauberg.
"I always said that being in the thick of the action in the spring Classics was my big goal of the season. The results I've achieved, the podium places and the wins, have been great and I think I've achieved my goal. However I'm not yet satisfied and the Amstel Gold Race is an important race that I want to add to my results," Sagan said on the eve of the race.
"Winning Brabantse Pijl was good for morale. It was a test of my form and to understand my rivals' form, especially Gilbert. He, Rodriguez, Valverde, and Gerrans are the biggest threat but I expect a lot of other riders to be up there too."
"Compared to a race like the Tour of Flanders, Amstel is a lot more open kind of race. The route has also changed, and now uses the final circuit used at the world championships. It's not as hard as the old route and so favours riders who want to attack. Controlling the race in the last 30km will be vital and so will the help from the team. We'll see how the others ride and then decide our tactics. It'll be a very tactical finale where if you hesitate it can cost you dearly."
"It's a tough, hard, nervous race where you can't be distracted for a second. Last year I was third and on the podium I was disappointed but then I realised that it was good result in such a hard and important race. I also realised that the Amstel Gold Race is a Classic that really suits me and that's my motivation for the race."