Sagan to start 2018 Down Under

The Advertiser reports that Peter Sagan will debut his third world champion’s rainbow jersey at Tour Down Under, January 12-21, 2018 in Australia.

Bora-Hansgrohe’s prolific all-rounder started his 2017 season at Tour Down Under collecting three second-place stage finishes on stages 3, 4, and 6.

“It is the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year, it has it all — a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what,” Sagan told The Advertiser.

The 2018 Tour Down Under will be the Slovak’s third ride in the event. He also raced in 2010 but has yet to win a stage there.

In September, Sagan, 27, became the first man to win three consecutive world road championships in a photo finish ahead of Norway’s Alexander Kristoff.

His Bora-Hansgrohe team will get a boost for 2018 with the addition of Italian Daniel Oss. Oss will be a key support rider for Sagan in the spring classics that follow soon after Tour Down Under. In 2017, Sagan won just one classic, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

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Peter Sagan reveals his opening race for the 2018 season

Three-time world champion to start the year at the Tour Down Under

Peter Sagan on the final stage of the 2017 Tour Down Under

As he did at the start of this year, Peter Sagan has revealed that he will begin his 2018 season with a trip to South Australia for the Tour Down Under.

Peter Sagan wins so many races because the standard of other riders has dropped, claims Oscar Freire

Freire says his fellow three-time world champion faces easier competition

Peter Sagan and Oscar Freire are both three-time world champions

Peter Sagan‘s dominance of many races is down to the low standard of riders in the current professional peloton, according …Continue reading »

Sagan doesn’t discount a worlds four-peat

Three men’s world championships in a row isn’t enough for Peter Sagan. The recently crowned triple winner told La Gazzetta dello Sport he’s not discounting a run at a fourth consecutive rainbow jersey next year in Innsbruck.

“Nothing is impossible,” Sagan told the Italian sports daily. “With the right preparation, I believe I could have a chance. We’ll see.”

Many think that could be a big ask. The Austrian worlds circuit, at least at first glance, looks too hard for Sagan. With a total vertical gain of 4,670 meters — about 1,000 meters more than in Bergen — the course looks ideal for leaner climbers.

Circuit racing, however, requires a different approach to how a similar course might be tackled in a stage race or even a one-day classic. Smaller national teams and a diverse international field means that the dominance of some trade teams is diluted in world’s racing. Sagan is also an expert at managing his efforts, and should never been counted out when it comes to the worlds.

On Sunday, Sagan joined the “three-win club” in dramatic fashion by pipping Alexander Kristoff after expertly managing the closing 4 kilometers of the race. The win brings him equal to the mark set by Alfredo Binda, Rik Van Steenbergen, Eddy Merckx and Oscar Freire, but he is the first to win three in a row.

A winner across distinct courses, with 2015 in Richmond and 2016 in Qatar, Sagan compared his three victories.

“Each one is different,” he said. “Against different rivals, different courses, and different ambiance, but always with the same magic. This one was the most difficult.”

When looking ahead to cycling’s other monuments — Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Giro di Lombardia — Sagan admitted those races could be a bridge too far. Speaking earlier this season to VeloNews, sport director Patxi Vila said Sagan might one day take on the climbing classics, but said the immediate focus is on the northern classics. Sagan hedged on his chances in the hillier classics.

“I am nearly 80kg, so I don’t have real chances against riders with 73-74kg,” he said. “I usually race with 78-79kg, so how I am going to win these races?”

Sagan won’t be racing for the remainder of the season, so his official debut in his latest rainbow jersey won’t come until 2018. After having worn it since 2015, the look shouldn’t be that different.

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VN podcast, ep. 52: Worlds, banned beards, and Froome vs. Dumoulin

Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

It was a three-Pete! The world championships in Bergen, Norway finished up over the weekend and Peter Sagan took home his third rainbow in a row. Fred Dreier, Caley Fretz, and Spencer Powlison discuss whether WorldTour riders should be allowed in the U23 race, how the American women could have factored in the finale, whether Tom Dumoulin’s TT win is a bad sign for Chris Froome, and more. Plus, a deep discussion of a Belgian team’s new beard ban.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and Fretz.

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