March 24, 2013 – With an amazing attack with 4 km to go, a solo arrival and a wheelie at the finish, today Peter Sagan won his first Belgium Classic Gent-Wevelgem. In freezing weather, the Slovak champion and the entire Cannondale Pro Cycling team put in a bold performance. Sagan won with 23” on Bozic and Van Avermaet, taking his sixth win in 2013 and the 42nd since he turned pro.
“Of course I’m really happy for this win,” affirmed Sagan. “And for the great work my teammates did to support me. Bodnar was a perfect help in the final part of the race. He accelerated to keep the sprinters from catching on. Unfortunately, in the group there was no cooperation, because many riders were watching me and waiting for my move. The Vandenbergh's attack broke the balance and this is what I needed. Then I decided to strike back because the others were waiting too much. I knew that behind they weren’t cooperating. No one followed me, so I thought only to push hard until the finish.”
“Many people have asked me about the Tour of Flanders but I’ll think about it next week. For now I want to enjoy this win,” added Peter. “I was always optimistic and confident to take a classic. I broke the ice and I hope to continue like this. People consider me as a favourite but I don’t care about that: it will be an unpredictable race. I only have to do my best and concentrate. I have a great team to support me and a perfect bike for the cobblestones, so I’m really calm.”
And a final word about the finish line. “I've wanted to do the wheelie as a salute and today was a good chance. Unfortunately I was too tired to do it well…”
The success at Gent-Wevelgem is the eighth for Cannondale Pro Cycling this season (the second of the day, after the win by Damiano Caruso at Settimana Internazionale). Sagan reinforced his leadership in the UCI WorldTour ranking: 232 points versus the 151 points of Cancellara and the 144 of Rodriguez.