A HELPING HAND
Peter Sagan bene its from work by his rivals as he wins his third world title
When you’re Peter Sagan it’s difficult to go unnoticed. So it was an achievement that he got through the 276.5km of the World Championships men’s road race with barely a mention.
The Slovak didn’t have a strong team at the Worlds, yet as he showed in Bergen that’s not a disadvantage. Unlike rivals Greg Van Avermaet, Michael Matthews or Alexander Kristoff, whose teams all had a full roster of nine, Sagan had five team-mates. When the day’s early break went clear, Poland and the Netherlands did
World Championships men’s road race 24.09.17
much of the work to chase them. Norway, Australia and Belgium were among those who wanted the race to end in a sprint, so as attacks began on the final lap they closed them down. With just his brother Juraj for support towards the end, Sagan could simply sit in. The only time Sagan was spotted making any move was in the final four kilometres. With 300 metres to go the Slovak, seemingly out of nowhere, moved up to third. When Kristoff opened his sprint early Sagan was perfectly positioned to use him as a lead-out, before he came around the Norwegian and edged the win.
Sagan has criticised riders for refusing to work with him before, as they don’t want to deliver him to the line and get beaten in the sprint. But at the biggest race of all, that’s exactly what they did.