Sagan closes chapter on road racing career
One of the most successful cyclists of all time and Santos Tour Down Under fan favourite Peter Sagan has wrapped up his professional road racing career.
After announcing his retirement in January, the Slovakian rode his final race on Sunday at the Tour de Vendée in France where he finished ninth.
Throughout Sagan’s impressive 14-year career, he won 121 races, including three consecutive world road race championships from 2015-2017, 18 Grand Tour stages including 12 in the Tour de France, 11 one-day Classics and 18 stages in the Tour de Suisse. He also holds an impressive record for the most Green Jersey wins at the Tour de France, with seven to his name.
Among Sagan’s inspiring list of wins was three victories at the Santos Tour Down Under. In 2018, he started his campaign by winning the curtain raising Classic race before making history as the first person wearing the iconic World Champion rainbow jersey to claim a stage win in the Santos Tour Down Under after rocketing across the finish line in a thrilling 128km race from Norwood to Uraidla.
It was after his 2018 Stage 4 win where he won the hearts of Australians. After the race Sagan stopped to assist our operations team with their pack down, and the generous gesture was caught on camera and went down in history as one of the classiest acts from a professional cyclist at the Santos Tour Down Under.
In 2019, Sagan won Stage 3 from Lobethal to Uraidla, making it his second stage win at the Santos Tour Down Under and in the charming Adelaide Hills.
While his road racing career comes to an end, Sagan’s next chapter on the bike begins as he turns his attention to mountain biking – the same cycling discipline that started his racing career as a youngster.
Speaking to Cycling News, Sagan said the change to mountain biking will be “like changing from Formula 1 driving to rallying.”
It was his unique set of skills learnt from his early days in mountain biking combined with his strength in road racing that made him such a strong and smart competitor.
His MTB career will see him racing for the Specialized Factory Team where he will have his eyes set on competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Riders like Geraint Thomas took to social media to express thanks to the Slovakian legend:
Congrats on a road career most of us can only dream of @petosagan 👏 Although I’m pretty sure you inspired this new generation that can do pretty much everything, so no thanks for that 🤣 Enjoy your road retirement mate 👌 #legend pic.twitter.com/CY9lVw157H— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) October 1, 2023
We look forward to seeing what Sagan does in the MTB world and we wish him the best of luck for the future.