Peter Sagan was forced to pull out of the men’s road race at the European Championships held on Sunday, August 12 in Glasgow. The world champion was hunting his second title, after winning the race two years ago, but told the press ahead of the race that he was feeling ill and then later said that he was still suffering from his injuries sustained in a crash at the Tour de France.
“I was not in good shape and I still have a lot of pain from the crash at the Tour de France,” said Sagan, who crashed on a descent during stage 17 of the French Grand Tour.
“It was a very technical circuit [in Glasgow], and it was hard, and in the end, well, I still have a lot of pain in my back and my hip. I think I need more time to recover from that crash.”
Sagan started the race as a favourite for the sprinter-friendly event. The men competed 16 laps of an undulating 14.4-kilometre-long circuit, for a total of 230.4km. “The course was OK, it was wet roads and a very technical circuit, but if you have no legs, for that circuit, than you need to be in good shape.”
In Glasgow, Sagan was up against other favourites; Kristoff, Greg Van Avermaet, Elia Viviani and John Degenkolb, all racing for their respective national teams.
Sagan was caught out behind a split in the field as Belgium accelerated over a rise. Norway set a quick pace to protect their defending champion Alexander Kristoff, however, Sagan eased up and then subsequently pulled out of the race with 86km, six laps to the finish. He had also suffered a flat tire earlier in the race but was able to get back on.
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