Peter Sagan wins Gent-Wevelgem classic for the third time

Slovakia's Peter Sagan, left, from the Bora-Hansgrohe team crosses the finish line to take first place in the Gent-Wevelgem cycling race in Wevelgem, Belgium on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Slovakia's Peter Sagan, center, from the Bora-Hansgrohe team crosses the finish line to take first place in the Gent-Wevelgem cycling race in Wevelgem, Belgium on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Slovakia's Peter Sagan, center, from the Bora-Hansgrohe team crosses the finish line to take first place in the Gent-Wevelgem cycling race in Wevelgem, Belgium on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

GENT, Belgium — Peter Sagan came out on top of a bunched sprint to win the Gent-Wevelgem classic for the third time on Sunday.

The Slovakian rider attacked on the left of the group and had enough of a margin to hold off Elia Viviani. The Italian rider caught Frenchman Arnaud Demare near the line, pushing Demare down to third.

When Viviani's attempt to catch Sagan came up short, he banged his handlebars in frustration.

Sagan, a five-time winner of the Tour de France's green jersey for best sprinter, also won the race in 2013 and 2016.

"I'm very happy and glad to win this race, the team did a great job," Sagan said. "A sprint's always a bit like a lottery. I started a little bit early but in the end it was good."

Sagan, a multiple stage winner on the Tour, felt this year's Gent-Wevelgem was not as hard as in previous years.

"This was the easiest one, (in terms of) the weather conditions," he said. "It was not crazy like last year, or two years ago."

Viviani, riding for the Belgian Quick-Step team, sat on the ground and buried his head in his hands as he sobbed.

"When it's such a big opportunity of course it's disappointing," Viviani said. "I hope I get another chance."

Demare narrowly missed out again after finishing third at the Milan-San Remo classic last weekend.

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