Wevelgem, March 26 (TASR) – World cycling champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) of Slovakia was beaten in the final sprint of the 249-kilometre Gent-Wevelgem classic on Sunday by two domestic Belgian riders, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott).
Van Avermaet made history on Sunday when he became the first cyclist to triumph at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem in the same year. He’s also considered by many experts to be the top favourite in the famed Tour of Flanders next Sunday.
Sagan, who won last year’s Gent-Wevelgem, vented his frustration before TV cameras after Sunday’s race.
“Nothing happened there…,” said Sagan, referring to the moment when Van Avermaet and Keukeleire broke away, while Dutch rider Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) was obviously unwilling to cooperate with him.
“I don’t understand what he wanted to do. He joins a breakaway, and then he refuses to cooperate … I won’t work hooked by him. This decided who would win. I’m not disappointed, but rather frustrated. Nevertheless, if I were only winning, I’d lose motivation, while I’m energised now. I’d like to force all competitors to cooperate in a fair way,” commented Sagan.