Peter Sagan is determined to start Wednesday's Scheldeprijs race despite still being battered and bruised from his crash on the Oude Kwaremont during the Tour of Flanders. The world champion is hoping that riding the flat race will help him recover from the blows and road rash he suffered and confirm that he is healthy enough to target Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.
Sagan is also keen to ride Scheldeprijs as a sign of respect for Tom Boonen. This year's Scheldeprijs starts in the Belgian's hometown of Mol, with all his family and friends at the start to celebrate his final race in Flanders. Boonen will retire after targeting a fifth victory at Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.
Sagan trained for 90 minutes on Tuesday morning to test how his body had reacted to the crash. The Bora-hansgrohe medical staff has been treating Sagan since the crash, and a team car followed him during his late morning training ride in case he wanted to cut short his ride.
The Bora-hansgrohe team confirmed to Cyclingnews that Sagan suffered a series of injuries in the crash, hurting his ribs, right knee and especially his right hip, which is causing the most concern due to the impact of the crash. Sagan also collected some painful road rash and hit his head when he crashed but does not seem to have any signs of a concussion.
Bora-hansgrohe named Sagan in its eight-rider squad for Scheldeprijs. The team has several options for the expected sprint finish, including young German sprinter Pascal Ackermann, Matteo Pelucchi and even Sagan if he is feeling good at the end of the 202km race.
Favourites for victory at Wednesday's Scheldeprijs include 2016 winner Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Britain's Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept).
Video footage emerged on Monday confirming that the crash was caused by Sagan riding close to the roadside barriers and making contact with a spectator's jacket. Sagan's bike was pulled towards the feet of the roadside barriers and then he crashed hard on right side, bringing down Greg van Avermaet (BMC) and Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale). While Van Avermaet got back up quickly and chased after Philippe Gilbert, managing to finish second, Sagan needed more time to recover and get a new bike. He eventually finished 27th at 3:30.
Sagan said the crash was his fault, admitting he was riding too close to the barriers, but on Monday he tweeted a video of the crash that confirmed the contact with a jacket on the barriers.
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