The search for Sagan

The Slovak, without winning since the 2019 Tour and far from his best level, aspires to his first victory in the Giro and the cyclamen jersey of regularity.

The-search-for-Sagan

Peter Sagan, surely the most mediatic person in his sport, aspires to the cyclamen jersey of regularity in his first participation in the Giro. Also to debut in the Corsa Rosa. Of six stages, he finished second in two: the second, beaten by Diego Ulissi in a goal with an explosive level, and the fourth, behind Arnaud Démare in a pure sprint. In the trap of Matera he finished eighth, without the option of discussing the flight to Démare due to a bad strategy from Bora, who left homework for last and Rafal Majka as his last pitcher. The French sprinter, now the leader after snatching his jersey, is presented as the main rival for the points classification (he scores 39, 106 to 67) along with Michael Matthews.

The Slovakian has 113 professional wins… and 105 second places. He has not raised his arms since the 2019 Tour and has lost the spark of his best level. Although he tries, it does not finish. Normal for a 30-year-old runner who since 2010, when he burst into the World Tour with Liquigas, appears as a favorite in practically every appointment in which he enters. In the Tour he shares with Erik Zabel the dubious record for cyclist with the most second places in history, with 22. In the Vuelta he has nine, three of them in time trial by squad.

“It's funny when you finish so many seconds. I don't get sad, even though at the moment it hurts not to win, but I look on the positive side: thanks to the effort of the team and my legs I am always close to contesting the victories in most of the races in which I compete ” . Sagan sees all the glasses half full. Three-time world champion and with twelve stages in the Tour and four in the Vuelta, he only needs the Giro to complete the collection in the big three. Except in 2017, when he was expelled for an incident with Mark Cavendish (from which he was exonerated), and in 2020, defeated by Sam Bennett, he always wore the green jersey in the gala event: seven times, an absolute record. In the Vuelta he finished fourth in 2011, 22 points behind Bauke Mollema, and second in 2018, 12 behind Alejandro Valverde.

His goal in the Italian round was clearly expressed in the previous conference: "I want the cyclamen jersey and get my first win at the Giro." With the landline with which RCS seduced him, with an advertising campaign included, it seems the least. Bora made him the highest paid rider in the peloton, five million euros a year, with his signing for the 2017 season: "I feel at home here." They call themselves Band of Brothers and he seeks to surround himself with Juraj, his older brother, another compatriot, Erik Baska, the Polish Maciej Bodnar, his masseur, his mechanic and his press man. As a personal ambition, he confessed that he would like to achieve the generals of the regularity of the big three: "I would love that, like conquering at least one Milan-San Remo". For now, it should correspond to that investment of the Giro and the Bora and win again as soon as possible.

Photos from as.com

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