Peter Sagan abandons Sarthe, Wout van Aert hopeful for Paris-Roubaix

Mathieu van der Poel, hot off winning Dwars door Vlaanderen and Tour of Flanders, confirmed he will race Amstel Gold Race.

Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

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Peter Sagan abandoned the Circuit de la Sarthe on Wednesday while Wout van Aert got the green light to return to training.

The updates come as the two stars are racing against time to start Paris-Roubaix on April 17.

Both riders have been racked with illness, with van Aert coming down with a COVID-19 diagnosis that sidelined him for Tour of Flanders, while Sagan continues to be dogged by health problems.

The three-time world champion did not finish Gent-Wevelgem and also skipped Tour of Flanders. The TotalEnergies star lined up at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the hopes of honing his form ahead of Roubaix.

His departure Wednesday will cast a pall on his chances to race the “Hell of the North,” which is being delayed by one week due to French presidential elections.

Van Aert, meanwhile, cleared a medical checkup after what doctors said were light COVID-19 symptoms.

The winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Saxo Bank Classic was sidelined for Flanders, but officials are hopeful he will be able to race Roubaix.

Jumbo-Visma officials also confirmed he will not start Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, with Tiesj Benoot, Tom Dumoulin, and Christophe Laporte taking leadership duties.

Mathieu van der Poel, hot off winning Dwars door Vlaanderen and Flanders on Sunday in a dramatic duel with Tadej Pogačar, confirmed he will race Amstel Gold Race this weekend as well as Paris-Roubaix.

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