Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Peter Sagan’s Best Season Ever

By winning his second consecutive elite men’s world championship title in the road race, Peter Sagan capped off an amazing season — his best ever, really. Now that the 26-year-old has another rainbow jersey in his closet, we thought we’d look back on some of our favorite Sagan stories from 2016 — from epic race triumphs to mind-blowing bike handling to his off-beat sense of humor.

The “Grease” tribute video
OK, so this one came out right at the end of 2015, but it’s too good not to mention. Sagan is a fan of Americana, and his elaborate lip-synch video would surely make John Travolta proud.

Death-defying bike handling skills
Photo: Tim de Waele
This one’s a two-fer! Sagan avoided calamity at two spring monuments, first dodging a tumbling Fernando Gaviria in the Milano-Sanremo sprint and then monster-trucking over a fallen Fabian Cancellara on the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix (you can just barely see his leg on the right side of this photo).

Finally winning a monument — and more
Photo: Iri Greco / BrakeThrough Media |
After coming correct at Gent-Wevelgem one week earlier, Peter Sagan finally notched the monument victory everyone had expected of him at the Tour of Flanders. BrakeThrough Media photographers Jim Fryer and Iri Greco captured the decisive attack on the Paterberg, and described the action from their first-hand perspectives.
Teaming up with Froomey
Chris Froome and Peter Sagan snuck away from the peloton in the final 10 kilometers of stage 11, benefiting from strong crosswinds. Photo: Tim De Waele |
Cycling’s favorite new odd couple just might be the Slovak green jersey winner and the British Tour champ. Sagan and Chris Froome launched a surprise attack late in stage 11 of the Tour de France, to the disbelief of fans and rivals alike. Naturally, the world champ sprinted to the stage win, but the tactical nous displayed by both living legends was must-watch TV.

Roads? Where Sagan’s going, he doesn’t need roads
Did Peter Sagan choose the right Olympic race? Photo: Tim De Waele |
Stunning cycling fans everywhere, Sagan decided to skip the Rio Olympics road race in favor of the mountain bike competition. Sure, he was a junior world champ on knobbies, but could he hang with the world’s best? Turns out, he probably could, but his tires weren’t up to the task. But oh, what a ride!
The double rainbow
Peter Sagan finished atop the podium in the world championship road race Sunday for the second straight year. Photo: Tim De Waele |
And of course, the season is capped off by his second consecutive rainbow jersey at worlds in Doha, Qatar.

Can he top this unbelievable showing in 2017? Heck, the Tour de France route doesn’t have all that much climbing — maybe he’s got a chance.

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