Known for its huge crashes in the final kilometre, Scheldeprijs offers the fast men a slice of the glory in the cobbled races, but Sagan isn’t going for the win, according to Tinkoff.
Fellow Slovakian Erik Baska will lead Tinkoff in the race, having impressed in other cobbled races this year. The 22-year-old won the Handzame Classic and claimed two top-10s in the Three Days of De Panne.
“Scheldeprijs is one of the oldest races in Belgium, now in its 104th edition, often ending in a bunch sprint with cobbles on the finishing circuit,” said Tinkoff sports director Tristan Hoffman.
“It’s a good chance for Peter to test out his Paris-Roubaix set up on his Specialized before Sunday, but for our focus on the day it will be for Peter to get round safely and to ride for Erik Baška in a bunch sprint. For Erik, it will be a good opportunity for him to have the responsibility of team leader in a race like this.”
He added: “Of course there’s the chance of crosswinds in the earlier stages of the race, and we will be ready to react for this but we aim to stay out of trouble. Over the past few years we’ve seen that the final few kilometres are quite dangerous, and there have been a few crashes so that’s why we are focusing on keeping Peter out of trouble.”