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No Strade Bianche for Peter Sagan

Bora-Hansgrohe star will likely make his season debut at Tirreno-Adriatico if recovery remains on track.

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There won’t be a start at Strade Bianche this weekend for Peter Sagan.

Bora-Hansgrohe officials confirmed to VeloNews that the Slovakian superstar, recovering from a bout of COVID-19, will not race the popular Italian classic contested over the white roads of Tuscany on Saturday.

Officials said if Sagan’s recovery remains on track he will likely make his season debut at Tirreno-Adriatico (March 10-16).

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The 31-year-old last raced at the 2020 Giro d’Italia, where he won a stage in his debut in the Italian grand tour in October. The three-time world champion was expected to debut at the Belgian “opening weekend,” but was diagnosed with COVID-19 during a training camp on Spain’s Canary Islands.

In late January, Sagan and two teammates were diagnosed with COVID-19 in what was described as mild symptoms, and the trio was forced to go into quarantine on Spain’s Gran Canaria.

There was some hope that Sagan would be ready to race Strade Bianche, where he’s twice finished second in eight career starts. Officials, however, confirmed Sagan will not start in Siena on Saturday.

The expectations are high that Sagan will be able to contest the northern classics in full health later this spring. Sagan is a perennial favorite in any one-day race he starts and is expected to battle against the likes of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).

Last season, Sagan lived up to his agreement to race the Giro, and missed out on the rescheduled classics that were moved from spring to autumn due to the coronavirus pandemic.