DOCKUM – He ended up on the ground again. Slovak cyclist Peter Sagan has not had an ideal return to the competition carousel. In the first stage of the 17th year of the cycling around the Benelux (BinckBank Tour), he fell about 24 km before the finish line and did not take part in the battle for victory.
The 31-year-old Slovak belonged to a wider circle of favorites, but did not add his fifth triumph to the BinckBank Tour. From the beginning of the stage, the cyclists had problems with the crosswind, which divided the peloton into several groups. The Žilina native also paid for the unpleasant conditions, but he was significantly more annoyed by the fall, which, however, was not captured by television cameras.
He did not hide his disappointment after the unpleasant incident and he certainly did not put himself in front of his napkin: “I’ll catch him, get out of here!” Sagan was angry, having his jersey and pants torn after the fall. Finally, he got back on the bike and finished the stage.
Another case in the beginning of #BeneluxTour!
Now it’s Peter Sagan who is still very good at this first stage.# ElMundoRuedaXSeñal
– Señal Deportes (@SenalDeportes) August 30, 2021
For the three-time world champion, this was the first start from the Tour de France, from which he resigned due to worsening knee injury, which he suffered after falling at the end of the 3rd stage after a collision with Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan.
He also finished on the ground in the first stage at the Around Benelux, but according to the words of sports director Bora Ján Valach, this is nothing serious and he should continue the event. “An unfortunate start to the race Around the Benelux, but it’s also part of the race. I had a fall in a simple part of the first stage. I’m looking forward to the next one,” said Sagan on social media.
The opening stage was dominated by Belgian Tim Merlier from the Alpecin-Fenix team.
Peter Sagan came to the finish line on the 109th place with a deficit of 2:26 min. His brother Juraj cut the finish line in 125th position with a loss of 5:47 min. The best of the Slovaks was another driver of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, Erik Baška, in 53rd place with a gap of 57 seconds.