The three-time world champion had planned with his Bora-Hansgrohe team to take on Liège this year with its new flatter finish to the centre of the city.
But Sagan has looked off the pace in recent races. After a strong showing in Paris-Roubaix which saw him fade towards the end, he struggled through Amstel Gold Race, failing to finish the race where he’d finished fourth the year before.
On Wednesday he was a late addition to the Bora-Hansgrohe Flèche Wallonne team, but again failed to finish after working for his team leader Maximilian Schachmann, who finished fifth.
After pulling out of Flèche a decision was taken with the team that the 29-year-old should not continue on through Liège and now take some rest before focusing on the Tour of California and his build up towards the Tour de France in July.
“A hard Flèche Wallonne is over,” Sagan said in a social media post. “I was here to work for the squad and contribute to the effort to achieve the best result possible. Together with the team, we decided that the best for me would now be to take a few days off in order to better prepare myself for the next races, starting with the Tour of California on May 12.”
Sagan has never competed in Liège, but stated early on this season that he planned to try and extend his Classics season to finish at the Monument.
The change to the 256km course is what would have tempted fast finishers like Sagan to the race. If they can make it over the climbs, the last being the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons with 15km remaining, they’ll fancy their chances in a reduced sprint on a flat run in to the centre of Liège.
The race has previously finished on a difficult, uncategorised climb to Ans in the city’s outskirts where the race begins this year.