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Peter Sagan wins European Championships road race

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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) wins the European Championships road race

Peter Sagan (Slovakia) wins the European Championships road race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Belgians line up on the front near the end of the race

The Belgians line up on the front near the end of the race
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Security was ever present in Plumelec

Security was ever present in Plumelec
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A French rider leads the peloton during the European championships

A French rider leads the peloton during the European championships
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Fans cheers the peloton at the European championships

Fans cheers the peloton at the European championships
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
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Ducth riders mass at the front

Ducth riders mass at the front
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Cyclists compete during the Men's Elite Race of the 2016 UEC Road European Championship

Cyclists compete during the Men's Elite Race of the 2016 UEC Road European Championship
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France's Maxime Bouhet prepares prior to the Men's Elite Race of the 2016 UEC Road European Championship

France's Maxime Bouhet prepares prior to the Men's Elite Race of the 2016 UEC Road European Championship
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Peter Sagan wins the European championships

Peter Sagan wins the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan wins the inaugural European championships

Peter Sagan wins the inaugural European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan wins the inaugural European championships

Peter Sagan wins the inaugural European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton in action during the European championships

The peloton in action during the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan made it look easy on his way to winning the European championships

Peter Sagan made it look easy on his way to winning the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan and Daniel Moreno on the European championships podium

Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan and Daniel Moreno on the European championships podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan and Daniel Moreno on the European championships podium

Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan and Daniel Moreno on the European championships podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton lines out near the end of the race

The peloton lines out near the end of the race
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The Slovakian team comes to the front for Peter Sagan

The Slovakian team comes to the front for Peter Sagan
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The German riders line up at the front of the peloton

The German riders line up at the front of the peloton
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Italy takes control near the end of the race

Italy takes control near the end of the race
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Peter Sagan surrounded after winning the European championships road race

Peter Sagan surrounded after winning the European championships road race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Breakaway riders Risto Raid (Estonia), Andriy Bratashcuk (Ukraine), Pirmin Lang (Switzerland) and Bert-Jan Lindeman.

Breakaway riders Risto Raid (Estonia), Andriy Bratashcuk (Ukraine), Pirmin Lang (Switzerland) and Bert-Jan Lindeman.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders climb the final hill at the European road championships.

Riders climb the final hill at the European road championships.
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Peter Sagan holds the Slovakian flag aloft following his win in the European championships

Peter Sagan holds the Slovakian flag aloft following his win in the European championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan and Daniel Moreno on the European championships podium

Julian Alaphilippe, Peter Sagan and Daniel Moreno on the European championships podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A fan gets a selfie with Peter Sagan after the finish

A fan gets a selfie with Peter Sagan after the finish
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Moreno Moser (Italy) on the attack

Moreno Moser (Italy) on the attack
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Moreno Moser (Italy) on the attack

Moreno Moser (Italy) on the attack
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) at his winner's press conference

Peter Sagan (Slovakia) at his winner's press conference
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia)

Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Slovakia have a made of habit of winning major championships

Slovakia have a made of habit of winning major championships
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sagan is kept out of trouble by his brother and teammates

Sagan is kept out of trouble by his brother and teammates
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgium were looking to set up a sprint but ran out of men in the finale

Belgium were looking to set up a sprint but ran out of men in the finale
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Moreno Moser (Italy) put in a strong attack

Moreno Moser (Italy) put in a strong attack
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) after his win

Peter Sagan (Slovakia) after his win
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) wins the European Road Race

Peter Sagan (Slovakia) wins the European Road Race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.
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Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.
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Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.
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Michal Golas (Poland)

Michal Golas (Poland)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan sprints to victory at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan sprints to victory at the European championship road race.
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Peter Sagan sprints to victory at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan sprints to victory at the European championship road race.
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Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.
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Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.

Peter Sagan celebrates his win at the European championship road race.
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia)

Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
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Peter Sagan meets his fans

Peter Sagan meets his fans
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) on the start line in France

Peter Sagan (Slovakia) on the start line in France
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On the start line for the men's road race

On the start line for the men's road race
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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) on the top step of the podium

Peter Sagan (Slovakia) on the top step of the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Julian Alaphilippe (France, Peter Sagan (Slovakia), and Daniel Moreno (Spain)

Julian Alaphilippe (France, Peter Sagan (Slovakia), and Daniel Moreno (Spain)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

As expected, Peter Sagan (Slovakia) claimed the first European Elite title on the circuit of Plumelec, France, that suited him to perfection. He outsprinted France’s Julian Alaphilippe and Spain's Dani Moreno atop the Cadoudal hill in a brilliant effort that will earn him a white and blue distinctive jersey next season if he doesn't win back-to-back world championships in Doha, Qatar, on October 16.

"Since it's the first time the European title is open to Elite riders, I'm very happy to be the winner," Sagan said. “It was a very fast race with a hard climb to finish, but it was a great course for me. There were two ways to win it: enter a breakaway or wait for the final sprint. I'm glad we chose the second option, and I thank the boys from Slovakia for helping me. This time we were a team of six, not three like usually at the world championship, so we were able to race as a team."

The race began with a long breakaway of four riders: Bert-Jan Lindeman (The Netherlands), Pirmin Lang (Switzerland), Andriy Bratashchuk (Ukraine) and Risto Raid (Estonia). They reached a maximum advantage of 11:40 after one third of racing on the 232.9km race.

Chasing from Italy, France and Belgium reduced the gap to all the moves in the last hour of racing, which led to the much-awaited sprint finish. Sagan himself rode behind Moreno Moser (Italy), who tried his luck by himself with 10km to go after his compatriot Fabio Aru was part of the last breakaway group caught with one lap to go. Another Italian, Davide Vilella, was the last man to attack, but the top riders appeared in the last curve in front of a large crowd: Sagan, Alaphilippe, Moreno, Samuel Dumoulin (France) and Petr Vakoc (Czech Republic).

"Sagan is beatable," Alaphilippe said. "He's human but he's also an exceptional rider. I'm aware that I'm second behind the best cyclist of our generation. I can't be completely satisfied to come second, but I can't be disappointed with the silver medal today. We rode well as a team. We were very motivated by this European championship and we took our responsibilities."

His teammate Dumoulin took the risk of losing the lead in the French cup. He has only one point more than runner up Baptiste Planckaert ahead of the final at Tour de Vendée on October 2. But his conclusion after finishing fourth where he won the GP Plumelec this year was: "I've a magical day on the bike today."

"Slovakia had nothing to lose," Sagan commented. "Had the European championship taken place in Nice as it was planned, I wouldn't have participated for sure, but when I heard it was going to be here, I thought it was a great opportunity and I decided to come two weeks ago. I'm glad I chose to do it even though I have very little time to enjoy my victory because I have to go to the Eneco Tour [by private jet] to chase WorldTour points. 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.

"It's already been a too long season," Sagan added. "From January to mid-October… what to expect in mid-October, I don't know. It can't go bad for me in Qatar anyway. If I win again, it'll be something extra, but otherwise it doesn't matter because I've already won more than I could expect this year."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Sagan (Slovakia)5:34:23
2Julian Alaphilippe (France)
3Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spain)
4Samuel Dumoulin (France)
5Petr Vakoc (Czech Republic)
6Rui Faria Da Costa (Portugal)
7Tony Gallopin (France)0:00:03
8Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
9Diego Ulissi (Italy)
10Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)
11Michael Gogl (Austria)
12Danilo Wyss (Switzerland)
13Daniel Martin (Ireland)
14Michal Golas (Poland)
15Sergei Lagutin (Russia)0:00:09
16Felix Grossschartner (Austria)0:00:11
17Gianni Meersman (Belgium)0:00:14
18Wout Poels (Netherlands)0:00:16
19Toms Skujins (Latvia)
20Sam Oomen (Netherlands)
21Giovanni Visconti (Italy)
22Radoslav Rogina (Croatia)
23Fabio Aru (Italy)
24Sébastien Reichenbach (Switzerland)0:00:22
25Mathias Frank (Switzerland)
26Matvey Mamykin (Russia)
27Matija Kvasina (Croatia)0:00:25
28Ben Hermans (Belgium)0:00:36
29Sonny Colbrelli (Italy)0:00:39
30Pavel Kochetkov (Russia)0:00:40
31Davide Villella (Italy)0:00:43
32Redi Halilaj (Albania)0:00:48
33Sergio Paulinho (Portugal)0:00:57
34David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spain)0:01:00
35Koen De Kort (Netherlands)0:01:10
36Paul Martens (Germany)
37Jan Bakelants (Belgium)0:01:21
38Karol Domagalski (Poland)0:01:40
39Cyril Gautier (France)0:01:51
40Paul Voss (Germany)0:01:52
41Moreno Moser (Italy)0:01:55
42Tiesj Benoot (Belgium)0:02:05
43Lukasz Owsian (Poland)
44Lukasz Wisniowski (Poland)
45Michael Albasini (Switzerland)0:02:46
46Huub Duijn (Netherlands)0:02:55
47Jan Barta (Czech Republic)0:03:03
48Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spain)
49Zydrunas Savickas (Lituania)0:03:12
50Vitaliy Buts (Ukraine)
51Matej Mugerli (Slovenia)
52Péter Kusztor (Hungary)0:03:20
53Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)0:03:43
54Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
55Karel Hnik (Czech Republic)
56Juraj Sagan (Slovakia)
57Jure Golcer (Slovenia)
58Igor Boev (Russia)
59Tiago Machado (Portugal)
60Marek Canecky (Slovakia)
61Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus)
62Andre Cardoso (Portugal)
63Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spain)
64Jens Keukeleire (Belgium)
65Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spain)
66Grega Bole (Slovenia)
67Oleksandr Prevar (Ukraine)
68Jose Goncalves (Portugal)
69Maciej Paterski (Poland)
70Tanel Kangert (Estonia)
71Koen Bouwman (Netherlands)
72Simon Geschke (Germany)
73Emanuel Buchmann (Germany)
74Andreas Schillinger (Germany)
75Raphael Freienstein (Germany)
76Gianni Moscon (Italy)0:04:14
77Alexandre Geniez (France)0:06:05
78Maxime Bouet (France)
79Maxim Belkov (Russia)
80Laurent Didier (Luxembourg)
81Twan Castelijns (Netherlands)
82Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)
83Frantisek Sisr (Czech Republic)
84Johannes Fröhlinger (Germany)0:07:58
85Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland)
86Juan José Lobato Del Valle (Spain)
87Anthony Delaplace (France)0:09:31
88Nicolas Edet (France)
89Rick Zabel (Germany)
90Lilian Calmejane (France)
91Peeter Pruus (Estonia)
92Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spain)0:10:12
93Conor Dunne (Ireland)0:10:21
94Fabian Lienhard (Switzerland)0:13:02
95Patrik Tybor (Slovakia)
96Martijn Keizer (Netherlands)
97Jan Tratnik (Slovenia)
98Michael Kolar (Slovakia)
99Martin Mahdar (Slovakia)
100Alo Jakin (Estonia)
101Roman Maikin (Russia)
DNFJelle Vanendert (Belgium)
DNFEliot Lietaer (Belgium)
DNFLoic Vliegen (Belgium)
DNFValerio Conti (Italy)
DNFEnrico Gasparotto (Italy)
DNFRuben Fernandez Andujar (Spain)
DNFBert-Jan Lindeman (Netherlands)
DNFMario Vogt (Germany)
DNFPirmin Lang (Switzerland)
DNFSimon Pellaud (Switzerland)
DNFMarcel Wyss (Switzerland)
DNFJiri Polnicky (Czech Republic)
DNFEgor Silin (Russia)
DNFAndrii Bratashchuk (Ukraine)
DNFAndriy Khripta (Ukraine)
DNFSergii Lagkuti (Ukraine)
DNFAndriy Vasyliuk (Ukraine)
DNFDamien Shaw (Ireland)
DNFRisto Raid (Estonia)
DNFMihkel Raim (Estonia)
DNFRein Taaramae (Estonia)
DNFDarijus Dzervus (Lituania)
DNFPaulius Siskevicius (Lituania)
DNFKanstantsin Klimiankov (Belarus)
DNFBranislau Samoilau (Belarus)
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Latvia)
DNFMaksym Averin (Azerbaijan)
DNFPolychronis Tzortzakis (Greece)
DNFMatti Manninen (Finland)
DNFRoy Goldstein (Israel)
DNFBesmir Banushi (Albania)
DNFYlber Sefa (Albania)
DNFMaxim Rusnac (Moldavia)
DNFGoran Cerovic (Montenegro)
DNFJulio Pintado Madrigal (Andorra)
DNFOscar Cabanas Quintela (Andorra)
DNFEvgenii Gerganov (Bulgaria)
DNFAlexander Alexiev (Bulgaria)
DNSMarcin Bialoblocki (Poland)
DNSJose Mendes (Portugal)
DNSAlexandr Pliuschin (Moldavia)

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