A HELP­ING HAND

Peter Sa­gan bene its from work by his ri­vals as he wins his third world ti­tle

Procycling - - Debrief -

When you’re Peter Sa­gan it’s dif­fi­cult to go un­no­ticed. So it was an achieve­ment that he got through the 276.5km of the World Cham­pi­onships men’s road race with barely a men­tion.

The Slo­vak didn’t have a strong team at the Worlds, yet as he showed in Ber­gen that’s not a dis­ad­van­tage. Un­like ri­vals Greg Van Aver­maet, Michael Matthews or Alexan­der Kristoff, whose teams all had a full ros­ter of nine, Sa­gan had five team-mates. When the day’s early break went clear, Poland and the Netherlands did

World Cham­pi­onships men’s road race 24.09.17

much of the work to chase them. Nor­way, Aus­tralia and Bel­gium were among those who wanted the race to end in a sprint, so as at­tacks be­gan on the fi­nal lap they closed them down. With just his brother Ju­raj for sup­port to­wards the end, Sa­gan could sim­ply sit in. The only time Sa­gan was spot­ted mak­ing any move was in the fi­nal four kilo­me­tres. With 300 me­tres to go the Slo­vak, seem­ingly out of nowhere, moved up to third. When Kristoff opened his sprint early Sa­gan was per­fectly po­si­tioned to use him as a lead-out, be­fore he came around the Nor­we­gian and edged the win.

Sa­gan has crit­i­cised riders for re­fus­ing to work with him be­fore, as they don’t want to de­liver him to the line and get beaten in the sprint. But at the big­gest race of all, that’s exactly what they did.

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