Peter Sagan says Wout van Aert is one of the contenders for the Tour green jersey this year, despite the Jumbo-Visma man saying he will be on domestique duties to try and help the team break Ineos' grip on the Tour de France.
"Every year it's going to be hard to obtain the green jersey, but it's not impossible and I'll try again," Sagan said at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Wout van Aert currently wears the green jersey at the Dauphiné, having won the first stage after victories at Strade Bianhce and Milan - San Remo, as well as third place in the bunch sprint at Milano-Torino.
On stage three, Van Aert led the Jumbo-Visma train, resplendent in green, as they chased down the breakaway of Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates). When asked if Van Aert can challenge him for the green jersey at the Tour, Sagan agrees, before adding that every year he has a challenger for the accolade that has become his own over the past decade.
"For sure, every year somebody is there."
Sagan is using the Dauphiné as training, to get his racing legs up to speed before racing two Grand Tours in just 57 days.
"It's okay, it's pretty warm here, a lot of climbs, we're trying to do some training and be in the front but if I can't that's okay for now," he said.
As for the decision to not ride any of the northern Classics this year, Sagan says it wasn't a difficult one, and that his pre-season plan of riding both the Tour and Giro was not affected by the coronavirus calendar readjustments.
"It wasn't difficult, I've entered the Classics many times and we decided as a team to go for the Tour and Giro before the season [started]," he said.
"And after all these complications, what's happened with coronavirus and stuff, the schedule is like it is and that's it. I cannot be everywhere. This season the Giro was more important than the Classics."
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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