Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quite a Year, Peter Sagan...

Anyone who covers the sport of bicycle racing on the internet, would have a hard time explaining the absence of a post relating to the stellar, year long performance of Slovakian rider, Peter Sagan. So, here is mine. Sagan is only a second-year full professional, but his palmares compare favorably to a seasoned veteran of many years racing. 

In case you missed it, Sagan won the bunch sprint into Pontevedra, after racing 167.3 km during stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana today. This is his second stage win at this years Vuelta. He is currently situated in 2nd spot in the Points Competition, close behind Joaquim Rodriguez. Todays win is just the latest one in a string of victories Sagan has been able to grab over the past two years. In 2010, Sagan won the Points Classification and two stages of Paris-Nice, one stage at the Tour de Romandie, two stages at the Tour of California, as well as the Points and Best Young Rider Competitions. So far in 2011, Sagan has won the Overall title and Points Competitions, as well as three stages at the Giro di Sardegna, the Points Classification (again) and three stages at the Tour of California, the Points Classification and two stages at the Tour de Suisse, the Slovakian National Road Race Championships, 1st in the Overall and Points Competitions, and two stages at the Tour of Poland, to go along with his latest two victories in his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana. These, along with many top-ten finishes continue, at the professional level, what he was accomplishing as a junior, when he won both the European and World Mountain Bike Championships, placed 2nd in the Cyclocross World Championships for juniors, and second at the Juniors Paris-Roubaix.

Like many professionals, Sagan's talent was evident from the start, when he won the first race he entered. VeloNews ran a good story / interview of Sagan from last year, and one from early this year, in which his progress is compared to that of the great Eddy Merckx. Only time will tell on that count, but Sagan certainly has the potential to excel in a wide range of race types, and that more than anything, is the ability that made Eddy the champion he is.

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