Peter Sagan: 'didn't have the legs' to win Strade Bianche

World champion Peter Sagan admits that he simply didn't have the power to contest the finish of Strade Bianche with Fabian Cancellara and Zdenek Stybar

Peter Sagan was part of the final four-man selection that also included Fabian Cancellara, Zdenek Stybar and Gianluca Brambilla. He would have to settle for fourth place after fading on the final climb.
(Image credit: Watson)

Peter Sagan has said that he simply 'didn't have the legs' to keep up with winner Fabian Cancellara and second-placed Zdenek Stybar at the end of Strade Bianche on Saturday.

The road race world champion of Tinkoff rode himself into a very select and highly-talented four-man lead group in the finale of the 176-kilometre race along with Cancellara, Stybar and Gianluca Brambilla.

Through the final two of the nine gravel road sectors that characterise the Italian race, Sagan looked to be very strong, taking his turns at the front and assisting in keeping the chase group at bay.

>>> Fabian Cancellara wins Strade Bianche for a third time

However, on the final, steep climb to the finish line in Siena's Piazza del Campo, the 26-year-old Slovak visibly faded, unable to even catch up with Brambilla who had spent the entire day in the two main escape groups.

Despite that, Sagan said he was content with his form.

“It is the start of the season and we try our best," Sagan said after the race. "I'm satisfied I was able to give all I had. Finishing first, third or fourth is part of the sport of cycling.

"I was in the front group but in the finale I didn’t have the legs to go."

Peter Sagan in the 2016 Strade Bianche

Peter Sagan in the 2016 Strade Bianche
(Image credit: Watson)

Sagan must be wondering what he has to do to win the race, having placed second in the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Strade-Bianche, and now fourth. Last weekend, Sagan was second in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and seventh in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. He is yet to take a win in 2016, but it is still early in the season – and Sagan evidently hasn't deemed it necessary to shave his legs yet

Tinkoff sports director Patxi Vila gave his view on the day's events: "It was a really hard race today, with 3,200m of climbing it’s nearly a mountain stage, and together with all the unpaved sectors it’s a hard day out. We saw last week Peter was riding well so we rode to bring him into the best position for the final.

>>> Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Fernando Gaviria to go head-to-head at Tirreno-Adriatico

"Peter was looking good and made the big move on the penultimate sector to form the lead group but lacked a little something at the end."

"Obviously we wanted to win and thought we could today, but Cancellara was the strongest at the end. We are on the right line and will keep fighting for the win in the coming races."

Sagan stays in Italy and now turns his attention to Tirreno-Adriatico, which starts on March 9.

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.