Sagan: Tour of Flanders was full gas from start to finish

In the end, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) made it all look so startlingly easy. After soloing into Oudenaarde as the winner of the Tour of Flanders, the world champion celebrated his first Monument victory by pulling the seemingly now obligatory wheelie.

Most of the 117 riders who followed him across the finish could scarcely lift their heads, never mind their front wheels.

In years past, Sagan has suffered from an apparent surfeit of options in the finale of the big classics, never sure whether to bank on his sprint or go on the offensive, and all too often running out of energy at the crucial moment.

On Sunday, Sagan’s seemingly bottomless reservoir of strength was such that he could probably have afforded to make many of the usual mistakes and still win, but he displayed tactical nous, too, by tracking Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) when he attacked ahead of the Kruisberg, with some 32 kilometres remaining.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.