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Peter Sagan will be back in the saddle for the first time in nearly two months at the Benelux Tour next week.
Bora-Hansgrohe confirmed that the Slovak ace will be racing the Dutch and Belgian tour starting Monday after completing surgery and rehab on a knee injury sustained at the Tour de France.
Sagan will go on to race the European championships on September 12 as he builds toward a spectacular season-closer at the road world championships and Paris-Roubaix.
Sagan has been out of action since he abandoned the Tour early July. The 31-year-old was caught up in a crash with Caleb Ewan on stage 3 and struggled on for another week before calling it quits with knee pains. He was then forced to undergo surgery when the wound became infected and inflamed bursa in his knee.
A long spell of rehab and altitude training has left Sagan riding with confidence into the late-season.
“Three weeks of intense training in Andorra came to an end today,” Sagan wrote Saturday. “I was able to combine road and mountain bikes and I’m satisfied with what I achieved … I’m heading now to Surhuisterveen for the start of the Benelux Tour”
Sagan will be part of a strong Bora-Hansgrohe selection for the seven-day Benelux race that includes GC contender Wilco Kelderman and the Slovak’s wingmen Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar and his brother Juraj.
A series of hilly and sprint stages at the Benelux Tour will offer Sagan the opportunity to sharpen his form ahead of the European championships in Trento, Italy.
A fully fit Sagan would stand a strong chance of taking his second European title on the hilly Italian course. However, with a startlist including an on-form Remco Evenepoel and Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar, any rustiness after a long lay-off could be cracked wide open.
“In a race such as the road European championships, there are so many factors that can influence a race and nearly all of them are beyond our control,” Sagan said. “Just that makes it impossible to truly foresee how it will play out. The only thing I am sure about is that I will give it my all, and I’ll try to get the best result I can.”
Sagan will close out his season – and his five-year stint at Bora-Hansgrohe – at the road world championships and Paris-Roubaix ahead of his high-profile move to Team TotalEnergies.
Sagan will be taking Specialized Bikes and a whole entourage of riders and staff to the French Team TotalEnergies next year. One last big win with Bora-Hansgrohe will make for a fitting farewell after scoring a world title, two Tour de France green jerseys, Paris-Roubaix victory and a whole lot more with the team.