Over the next few months, I’ll be spotlighting a few prominent cyclists in the hopes that their work may inspire those who share the same passion for the sport as I possess. With the amount of outstanding athletes in the cycling world, the list of who to spotlight will surely continue to grow and become more difficult to define. We all have a reason as to why we enjoy the sport, but what we may not know is how the sport has impacted each other’s lives. With this in mind, I crafted this series to keep the growing history of the sport alive and as an educational tool for generations to come.
The first cyclist in this spotlight series is multiple Tour de France winner, Peter Sagan.
At only 27 years of age, this Slovak racer has earned many victories across the world. Sagan is actually considered one of the winningest participants in the sport today, having conquered the Tour de France 5 years in a row (2012-2016) with winning statistics. In 2010, Sagan sailed past the competition to win his first World Tour Stage at the 2010 Paris-Nice, referred to many as the “Race to the Sun”. Moving on from this impressive win, Sagan went on to clench his first Grand Tour stages, capitalizing on 3 stages of the Vuelta a Espana. After winning his fourth stage win in 2012 at the Tour of California, Sagan started to become a regular at all high-profile cycling events.
As he enjoyed his successful first run as the youngest winner of a stage during the Tour de France, Sagan perfect his athletic reign by winning 22 total races in 2013 alone – the most for any professional rider in 2013. Sagan claimed the esteem honor of becoming the first rider from Slovakia to win the World Road Race Championships in 2015. He continued to gain more momentum in the cycling world in 2016, as he further solidified his winning status becoming the first Slovakian to win the Tour of Flanders, and the inaugural winner of the European Road Championships.
A recent article shed some light into Sagan’s early life, claiming that the young cyclist always set his sights high. Born in 1990, this millennial cyclist apparently had a knack for sneaking out of class as early as kindergarten in the hopes of exploring the world. He officially dropped out of school as a teen become a pro-cyclist in Italy.
Sagan began racing in 2006, placing 3rd at the National Junior Road Championships. He continued to build his cycling strength over the next several years, participating in races such as the Paris-Roubaix Juniors, and the Philadelphia International Championship. It was in 2009, however, that Sagan got his big break when he received his first offer to race professionally with the Dukla Trencin-Merida team.
Almost quitting the sport altogether in 2009, Sagan came back with a vengeance. By excelling on the Liquigas-Doimo team, he secured himself years of professional experience, with Liquigas even selecting the then 19 year old for his first pro tour race, the Tour Down Under.
Sagan has garnered a great amount of success over the years, and a great amount of press as well. As one of the most sought-after cyclists in the industry, he has kept a busy schedule in these early months of 2017. Early in the year, he participated in the same Tour Down Under that he mastered in his early career. Most recently, Sagan suffered a brutal crash near the end of the Tour of Flanders, in which he was the defending champ.
Looking ahead, Sagan is sure to enjoy continued success in pro-cycling. With a tenacious attitude towards racing and a passion for the sport, Peter Sagan is likely to go down in history as one of the greatest to ever participate in cycling.