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Sagan primed for Paris-Nice

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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) crosses the line.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) crosses the line. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) was the revelation of the 2010 Paris-Nice, winning two stages, and after his recent success at the Giro di Sardegna, he will be a marked man this time around.

The young Slovak told L’Équipe that he is taking part in the Race to the Sun “to prepare for all of the Classics,” but it is on the cobbles where he is expected to make the greater impact, at least this year.

“People are going to say that I don’t have any experience in these races, but I’m going to go there to observe my rivals,” Sagan said. “Above all, I’m going to see how Boonen and Cancellara do it. And if I have an opportunity to attack, I’ll do it instinctively.”

At just 21 years of age, Sagan is already beginning to assume the status of a leader at Liquigas-Cannondale. At the Giro di Sardegna, he had no less a figure than Vuelta a España champion Vincenzo Nibali leading him out, and he admitted that he has come a long way in just twelve months as a professional.

“Before my first season as a pro, I didn’t even know if I was capable of winning a race,” Sagan said. “If I have new responsibilities [for 2011], it’s to win more races. Now, I know what I’m worth and how I can win.”

While Sagan’s thoughts will be focused firmly on the Classics in the coming weeks, the youngster may also make his Grand Tour debut this season.

“His lightning progression is making us reflect on his programme,” team manager Roberto Amadio told L’Équipe. “We don’t know yet if he might be at the start of a Grand Tour this year, the Giro particularly. We’ll wait and see based on his first part of the season.”