Team Tinkoff sports director Tristan Hoffman has explained how Peter Sagan played out his winning moves in the 2016 Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday.
Sagan accelerated away from his rivals over the final two key climbs of the race, the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, to go solo and take his first monument victory.
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“It was his dream,” said Hoffman of Sagan’s memorable win. “It was one of his main goals this season.”
Asked whether Sagan’s move to distance Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski on the Kwaremont was planned, Hoffman said: “I think he used his instinct just before that, when they were pulling behind because they need to come closer for the Oude Kwaremont. Then Peter made a little gap for 50 metres and then they went full gas.”
“Then on the Kwaremont he went again, and we said you need to let [Sep] Vanmarcke do some work, but he didn’t listen to us! Then Vanmarcke also started working so we said, ‘see what happens on the last climb [Paterberg] – give him a test’.”
“Then Sagan went alone and there was no way back. He took to his time trial position and, of course, until the last few metres it was very exciting.”
Although Hoffman says that Sagan was strong last year – when he took the world championship win – this year he’s stepped up a level.
“Last year he was up there, last year he was strong but this year he’s super.”
Sagan will now take part in Paris-Roubaix in France on Sunday, April 10, and after his Flanders win he will go into the race as one of the strongest contenders.