World champion Peter Sagan continued his successful season in the rainbow stripes as the 26-year-old won the first elite European road championship in Plumelec. Sagan initially wasn't going to race the championships but following the move from Nice to Brittany with a parcours that suited him down to the ground, he proved to be the fastest finisher and was rewarded with his 11th victory of the season.
The Tinkoff rider was joined by brother Juraj and Marek Canecky on the start line as his Slovakian teammates and despite the small team size, just as he did in Richmond last September, Sagan came out on top with Julian Alaphilippe (France) and Daniel Moreno (Spain) completing the podium.
"I'm extremely happy to be the first ever European Road Champion and it's an honour for me to take the Slovak colors to the highest spot of the podium. As expected, it was a long and tough race, but in the final lap my legs were strong and I thought I had what it took to jump at the opportunity when it arose," Sagan said.
"I waited until I felt the timing was right to attack and take my chance, although it wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated work of all my Slovak team-mates. I dedicate this victory to them as well as the entire country of Slovakia and I congratulate all riders of Tinkoff for their effort in this European Championship."
Sagan came into the race off the back of victory in the GP de Quebec and second place in the GP de Montreal with Tinkoff and immediately jetted off to Netherlands following his win for Monday's stage 1 of the Eneco Tour. Sagan is racing the final WorldTour stage race of the season as he looks to finish the 2016 season atop the standings which he currently sits in second place, 34 points down on Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
"I believe the Eneco Tour will also be a good preparation for the Worlds. I'll take a bit of a rest in the meantime. The European champion jersey is an insurance for next year. If I don't retain the rainbow jersey, I'll be happy to wear this one."
Should Sagan miss out on winning the Worlds for s second straight year, he would debut with his new Bora-Hansgrohe team in the blue and white jersey of European champion at the 2017 Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia.
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