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Peter Sagan to miss Strade Bianche

Team Bora rider Slovakias Peter Sagan R rides during the 4th stage of the Giro dItalia 2020 cycling race a 140kilometer route between Catania and Villafranca Tirrena Sicily on October 6 2020 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images
Peter Sagan at the 2020 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Peter Sagan will not ride Strade Bianche on Saturday, preferring to delay his season debut until next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico.

The former three-time world champion, his brother Juraj and Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Erik Baška tested positive for COVID-19 in early February during a privately organised training camp in Gran Canaria. 

They were obliged to quarantine for ten days under Spanish COVID-19 regulations, with the riders only allowed to do some core work while obliged to stay indoors. Sagan stayed in Gran Canaria to reboot his training but he and Bora-Hansgrohe realised there was little sense in starting his season on the dirt roads and steep climbs of Strade Bianche. 

“Peter is on the way to recovery. He will not be taking part in Strade Bianche, with his season commencement planned for Tirreno-Adriatico, as long as his recovery remains on track over the coming days,” the Bora-Hansgrohe team told Cyclingnews. Emanuel Buchmann is now expected to lead Bora-Hansgrohe at Strade Bianche.

After the Vuelta a San Juan was cancelled, Sagan had originally planned to make his season debut at Opening Weekend, but COVID-19 significantly disrupted his plans. After recovering from COVID-19 Sagan opted to stay in Gran Canaria to continue warm-weather training and try to make up for the loss of key training. He will stay there until Thursday before heading home to Monaco and then on to Tuscany for the start of Tirreno-Adriatico next Wednesday.

As per the UCI COVID-19 medical protocol, Sagan and his teammates will undergo a series of detailed check-ups to confirm they are fit to train and race. These include blood tests and MRI scans of the heart, an X-ray of the lungs, and a spirometry lung test.

31-year-old Sagan is expected to ride Milan-San Remo after Tirreno-Adriatico and then head to northern Europe for a full calendar of spring Classics. 

Sagan missed the rescheduled cobbled Classics last Autumn, preferring instead to combine the Tour de France with a Giro d’Italia debut that had been planned long before the coronavirus pandemic upended the calendar. 

He could ride both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in a packed 2021 season that also features the Olympic Games and World Championships. However he has insisted his race plans beyond the Classics are still to be confirmed. 

A possible contract extension at Bora-Hansgrohe or a move to a new team have also to be finalised this season.

“For now, I have a schedule up to the Classics. After that, we have to see what I’m going to do. We have to decide, because it’s a very important year with the Olympic Games and a World Championships [in Flanders] that could be good," Sagan said in an interview during the Bora-Hansgrohe training camp in January