Peter Sagan pulls out of Circuit de la Sarthe

Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) did not finish stage 2 of 2022 Circuit de la Sarthe on Wednesday
Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) did not finish stage 2 of 2022 Circuit de la Sarthe on Wednesday (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) pulled out of stage 2 in the Circuit de la Sarthe with 40 kilometres remaining. He couldn’t hold the pace of the bunch when general classification contenders Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën) upped the tempo and went clear of the peloton for a little while behind the five breakaway riders.

“Just like one month ago, he just felt bad with unusual pain in his legs and his chest," his media officer Giuseppe Uboldi told Cyclingnews. “We don’t know what’s wrong. He must undergo further examination to find out.”

Following a difficult start of the season at Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var and the Belgian opening weekend due to the COVID-19 Sagan caught for the second time during the winter, he looked on his way back with finishing fourth in stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico. That road stage was won in a bunch sprint won by Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) but Sagan couldn’t start the following day as he was feeling bad. 

He made an encouraging come-back at Milano-Torino (fifth) but felt bad again in Belgium, pulled out of Gent-Wevelgem and decided to not take part in the Tour of Flanders.

“Circuit de la Sarthe was supposed to help him get back into the rhythm," Uboldi said. “In this race, he should never have any problem to follow the bunch even if he was not at 100 per cent of his physical capacities. 

"As far as I know, it’s the first time he abandons a stage race other than because of a crash. Paris-Roubaix is the next race on his calendar. It’s not yet decided if he will do it or not, but looking at how riders like Pedersen are going here, it seems difficult for Peter to get back in shape on time to challenge him.”

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