Peter Sagan is unlikely to start Paris-Roubaix, it has been reported, after health problems have left him unable to train or race to his full ability.
The TotalEnergies rider won the race in 2018, but has had a stop-start beginning to his 2022 season, his latest attempted comeback aborted this week, as he pulled out of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe on stage two.
“I don't feel well, I often feel tired and I’ve got to find out why,” Sagan told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Slovakian will undergo further tests in France to understand why he is feeling below his top level, on top of examinations that have already been performed.
Sagan tested positive for Covid for a second time in January and missed a key block of pre-season training, which has impacted his start to the season. He did not start the Tour of Flanders last week, which he is also a former winner of.
His best result this season was fourth on the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, though he abandoned the race ahead of the following stage after falling ill with a stomach bug. The three-time world champion then also finished fifth at Milano-Torino ahead of Milan-San Remo.
“Peter hasn’t been well recently. His legs hurt far more than normally and he finds it difficult to make big efforts. He sometimes feels light headed and is often really tired,” Gabriele Ubaldi, his friend and press officer, told Tuttobiciweb.
He joined TotalEnergies over the winter after five years with Bora-Hansgrohe, during which time he won Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem. It has been a different sight this season, seeing the rider who always present in the lead groups at the classics struggling to hold on.
Ubaldi continued: "I have been working with him for nine years and I have never seen him retire from a race except for some bad fall. At the moment we do not know how his season will continue, he has the Paris-Roubaix scheduled but personally I think it is difficult that he can be at the start in good condition, even if clearly he will make the decision together with the team also based on the outcome of the exams he is taking.
"The priority for everyone is obviously his health, so it is important to identify the cause of his discomfort. We are not worried that there may be something serious but we clearly need to resolve the situation. The team is very close to him and is helping him to try to get out of this bad situation as soon as possible."
Sagan will not ride the Giro d'Italia, where he won the points classification last year, due to his team not being invited. TotalEnergies are on the startlist for the Tour de France, however, so this is expected to be his major goal this year.
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