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Cycling Weekly
Cycling Weekly
James Shrubsall

21 things you didn't know about Peter Sagan


Peter Sagan has been not just one of the most successful but also one of the most entertaining riders this century has so far produced. 

He is possibly best known for his back-to-back World Championships triple, and is the only rider to have achieved the feat. But there are other major wins almost too numerous to list, including Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

Seven Tour de France green jerseys, too, hint at his ability to mix it up in the bunch sprints, a prowess which has yielded many of his victories.

But the Slovak is equally known for his off-the-wall, 'why so serious?' approach to the sport. Cryptic interviews, one-handed wheelies and a variety of haircuts have kept us entertained over the years.

As you'll find out below however, he has managed to land himself in hot water on more than one occasion.

Now retired from top-tier road racing, Sagan is currently preparing for August's Paris' Olympic Games, where he will ride in the mountain bike events. This year has already been eventful one, and not in the way he would have hoped – he has undergone two heart procedures after suffering a tachycardia and an arrhythmia.

Winning stage one, Tour de Romandie 2010 (Image credit: Tim De Waele / Getty Images)

1. After his first junior season, he was named 'Talent of the Year' by the Slovak cycling association.

2. Sagan acquired the nickname Rambo after crashing in one of the first races of his pro career, the Tour Down Under. Despite sustaining injuries needing 18 stitches, he continued and was fourth the next day. He is also often known as the Terminator. Either way, you get the picture.

3. He has spent much of his career riding alongside his older brother Juraj, who joined him at the start of his WorldTour career at Liquigas and went to Bora-Hansgrohe and then TotalEnergies with him.

4. He won stage one of his first Tour de France in 2012, going on to record a total of 11 top-10s.

5. The 2017 Tour saw him suffer the rare ignominy of being booted off the race, after being judged to have caused Mark Cavendish to crash (and break his shoulder) in the stage four bunch sprint to Vittel.

6. It wasn't Sagan's first brush with disapproval – he was forced to apologise after pinching a podium girl's bottom at the 2013 Tour of Flanders.

7. After he began racing at the top level with Liquigas in 2010, he started winning almost straight away, taking two stages in that year's Paris-Nice. They were two out of five races he won that season.

8. In 2019 Sagan won his seventh Tour de France green points jersey – a record he took from six-time winner Erik Zabel who won it every year from 1996-2001.

Riding the XC mountain bike at the Rio Olympics 2016 (Image credit: Pascal Guynot / Getty Images)

9. He began his racing career on the mountain bike and that's where he'll finish it – he is aiming for the Paris Olympics next year.

10. He has his own line of 'Peter Sagan' clothing – both for cycling and casual wear.

11. A bit of a gymnast, Sagan can do not only the splits, but a handstand too.

12. Peter Sagan's press conferences are famed for their lack of predictability. After winning the World Championship in Bergen he looked distinctly nonplussed, keen to talk about the motocross goggles he was wearing and pointing out that his rainbow jersey wasn't that important in the grand scheme. At another pre-Tour de France presser, he berated a journalist for asking him about his goals for the race, saying, "do I come here and ask you about your goals"?

13. Since 2011, Sagan and his brother Juraj have made the Slovak national championship road race title their own, with no one else getting a look-in. Peter has won eight times, Juraj four: "One for you, two for me," etc.

14. Sagan has a son, Marlon, who was born in 2017, and was baptised by the Pope, no less, the following year.

15. Marlon is one of the reasons Sagan has retired from top-level road racing – he wants to spend more time with his son, he says.

Wheelying home in the 2014 Tour de France (Image credit: Bryn Lennon / Getty Images)

16. Thanks in part to his mountain biking background, Sagan can wheelie with the best of them, and enjoyed nothing more than to delight Tour de France crowds by wheelying over the finish line on the final mountain stage.

17. As a youngster Sagan was a big fan of the 'Dukes of Hazzard' TV show. Once he could afford it he bought his own Dodge Charger, just like the Dukes drove – though without the General Lee livery.

18. He enjoys cooking – he finds it relaxing, he says – but isn't so much a fan of the shopping or the preparation.

19. Well known for his voluminous locks, which have been fashioned into various styles over the years, Sagan actually co-owns a hair salon with his sister. He gets his hair cut there from time to time and has even been known to help out.

20. Cycling isn't the only sport in his repertoire. As well as the gymnastics mentioned above, he has been known to do martial arts, football and hockey. What's the betting he's amazing at them all?

21. Sagan raised eyebrows when he began the 2016 season without having shaved his legs. “Who came with this style?” he said when asked about it. “Nobody knows, and yet everybody is shaving their legs.”

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