Peter Sagan closed out his Spring Classics campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The world champion was heavily marked in an elite leading group of 12 riders but placed the blame for missing the winning move on last week’s effort to win Paris-Roubaix.
“It was a tough Amstel Gold Race with a very strong pace from the start,” Sagan said in a press release. “The breakaway managed to build a very big gap and was brought in, but that required a strong effort.”
The six riders of the day’s breakaway still out front found themselves swept up by first runner-up Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott) and third place finisher Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida) on the Cauberg with 28km to go, and Sagan made it into the group with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and eventual winner Michael Valgren and his Astana teammate Jakob Fuglsang.
When Valgren put in his winning move with more than 2km to go, the others looked to Sagan to chase. “I had good sensations but I think that last week’s Paris-Roubaix could still be felt in my legs,” Sagan said. “I finished fourth and, in my view, the overall assessment of my Classics campaign is good.”
Bora-Hansgrohe directeur sportif Jens Zemke blamed the team for leaving Sagan isolated in the finale. “Peter had a strong race as well but, unfortunately, we didn’t fully support him in the last 40km, where he had to work hard and close many gaps by himself. He was in the chasing group, just a few seconds behind the leaders but he wasn’t able to bridge the gap,” Zemke said.
Gasparotto back on the podium
The winner of the Amstel Gold Race in 2012 and 2016, Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida) fought to the final podium position on Sunday, having left his attempt to bridge across to winner Michael Valgren and runner-up Roman Kreuziger a bit too late.
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