Sagan to LBL; Evenepoel; Rotterdam: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Peter Sagan will race Liege-Bastogne-Liege for the first time in 2019. The multi-time world champion said his focus is still on the cobbled classics, despite his ambition to race both Amstel Gold Race and LBL. Also teenage sensation Remco Evenepoel will not race the cobbled classics in his debut season. And Rotterdam is looking to host the Tour’s Grand Départ again. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Why is Sagan racing LBL?

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) could be preparing for a metamorphosis of sorts in the coming years. Meaning he’ll shed a few kilos to become a better climber. Why?

The only thing standing between Sagan and the elite five Monument club might be a couple kilos.

He’s won the cobbled monuments — Flanders and Roubaix. He’s come close at Milano-Sanremo and most certainly has the ability to win it one day. Barring disaster, Sagan will break Erik Zabel’s record of six green jerseys at the Tour. Sprinters and cobble specialists tend to be on the heavier side compared to the riders that compete at LBL and Il Lombardia. Winning those two races may be his next goal.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished fourth at the Amstel Gold Race in 2018. Photo: Kristof Ramon

The Slovakian is the modern day Eddy Merckx. While he cannot climb with the best in the world in the high mountains, pretty much any other terrain suits his skill set. We think Sagan could be eyeing the elusive five Monument club.

Only three riders — Rik Van Looy, Roger De Vlaeminck, and Merckx — have won all five Monuments. LBL and Il Lombardia at by far the toughest for Sagan to win considering his strengths and weaknesses, but losing a few kilos improves his odds.

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Young sensation Evenepoel to skip cobbled races

Remco Evenepoel won’t race the cobbled classics in 2019, but instead get a dose of WorldTour one-day racing at the Ardennes classics. He confirmed no cobbles are in the cards to Het Nieuwsblad during a meet and greet with one of his three fan clubs.

The 18-year-old is the most popular teenager in professional cycling. He swept the Belgian national, European, and world championships in the road race and time trial this season. He will race for Quick-Step Floors next season.

Remco Evenpoel comfortably won the junior men’s road race world championships. He walked his bike across the finish line. Photo: Kristof Ramon

Rotterdam to host Tour Grand Départ again

The Dutch port city of Rotterdam is looking to host the start of the Tour de France between 2023 and 2025. Rotterdam dropped the flag on the 2010 Tour.

An 8.9-kilometre individual time trial kicked off the 2010 edition and Fabian Cancellara took the first maillot jaune. The first road stage started in Rotterdam and travelled 127 kilometres to Brussels.

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) scored a perfect 10 to start the 2010 Tour de France. He finished the 8.9-kilometre prologue in 10 minutes flat. Photo: Cor Vos.

The Tour will start in Brussels next year and Nice in 2020. Marseille, which hosted the penultimate day TT in 2017, is rumoured to be wanting to host the Grand Départ sometime between 2021 and 2024.

Happy Birthday too …

Elisa Longo Borghini (27) and Sergio Henao (31).

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