Updated: Sunday, 13 April 2014 00:11 | By Agence France-Presse

Sagan unbowed by Flanders failure

Much hyped Slovakian rider Peter Sagan insisted his confidence for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix race had not been knocked despite a poor 16th place finish at last week's Tour of Flanders.


Sagan unbowed by Flanders failure

Cyclist Peter Sagan (C) and his Cannondale team train on the cobblestones of the Aremberg de Wallers section on April 11, 2014 for the "Paris-Roubaix" race - by Francois Lo Presti

The 24-year-old Cannondale rider went into last week's cobbled classic as many people's second favourite behind eventual winner Fabian Cancellara, but failed to match the Swiss star's acceleration on the Kwaremont climb 17km from home and played no part in the race for victory.

It was yet another chastening experience for Sagan on the northern cobbles having also failed to muster a challenge last year when he was among the Paris-Roubaix favourites following a second-placed finish in Flanders, but got nowhere near challenging.

"Tomorrow (Sunday), many people can win, but I don't know what will happen in the race because you need luck," said Sagan.

"It's my third time (riding Paris-Roubaix), the first time I didn't finish, the second time I was happy to make it to the end. This time I'm looking to gain experience.

"We'll see how it goes, the favourites are always the same, that's it. We'll see how well I do tomorrow.

"I feel good, the race is always different every year. I look forward to tomorrow, it will be good, I'll try to be on the front."

As for his own victory chances, Sagan said last week's disappointment did not hinder his possibilities.

"One race was not very good but it's still riding on the bike. I'm here for what? For a holiday or what?

"I just want to ride in the group and I will see during the race after the Arenberg Forest how it's going."

Sagan also claimed his poor showing in Flanders was due to other riders waiting for him to chase down Cancellara.

"After Cancellara went, all the others were riding around me (rather than chasing with him). At the end we all had the same legs and I couldn't make the difference over the others, and I finished where I did.

"But it's always good experience, it's a race where I can improve.

"It's a very interesting race for me and I want to do well. It's a race I've ridden twice but it didn't go well.

"But I'm 24 and I've got my whole future ahead of me."

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