Peter Sagan: Riders don't want to work with me and that's my destiny

No-one wants to work with Peter Sagan when it gets to the business end of races and he's having to deal with the fact that that's how it'll remain

Peter Sagan in the 2016 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Being one of the best riders in the peloton certainly has its downsides, and world champion Peter Sagan discovered that again at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.

The Tinkoff rider was one of the favourites for the sprint Classic - won by Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) from a solo break - but had to settle for seventh place because other riders were reluctant to work with him.

"I tried a few times to set up the chase, but apparently it is difficult to work with me. It will be my destiny," Sagan said after the race.

Sagan missed what turned out to be the break which included Stuyven, Tom Boonen and Luke Rowe and was unable to work with members of other teams to properly organise a chase.

The Slovakian isn't alone in his plight - Boonen seemed unhappy with his breakaway colleagues for not working together to keep the peloton at bay.

In last year's Paris-Roubaix, John Degenkolb put on a masterclass after being left in a similar position - chasing on his own because of the threat he would cause in a bunch sprint at the end - and Fabian Cancellara has been forced to do the dirty work for years because his rivals know he'll blow them apart at the finish.

Sagan's right, he's destined to struggle to find willing participants to help him win races from outside his team, but it's how he will deal with it that will determine what kind of champion he is.

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Stuart Clarke

Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.