The Spring classics have barely begun, but Peter Sagan’s rivals should be warned that he’s back with turbulent engines. The Bora-Hansgrohe rider annihilated Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) at the finish line to claim his third Gent-Wevelgem title.
It takes a World Champion to recognise patience, stay calm and know when to launch an attack at the perfect time. Quick-Step Floors had set about controlling the race after the final ascent of the Kemmelberg, with Viviani coming into the sprint as the favourite.
However, the Italian was left boxed in after choosing to follow Matteo Trentin’s (Mitchelton-Scott) wheel while Sagan, used his experience to drift onto Jasper Stuyven’s (Trek-Segaredo) left shoulder.
When the sprint opened up with just under 200m to go, Sagan had a clear road ahead of him, and the Bora rider drew his line to the left as Viviani was forced to come through the crowd and then around Démare. The Frenchman had a better line than Viviani but was left exposed when Sagan turned on the afterburners.
Two days ago, Sagan’s form was questioned after he failed to impress in E3 Harelbeke. He may not even be at his very best but he was more than good enough to take the win in Wevelgem. With a week to go until Tour of Flanders, his rivals have been warned.
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