And the Oscar goes to … Peter Sagan!
What a weekend it was for Peter Sagan. Both on and off the bike, the two-time world champion proved, yet again, he is the master of his universe.
The Slovakian superstar impressed in the opening Belgian weekend, riding to second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before following that up with victory the next day at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. That counted for his 90th career victory, a stunning accomplishment considering he is only 27.
All weekend long, Sagan did it his way, attacking and smothering the moves in both races to put his rivals on notice going into the major spring monuments, now less than one month away. Up next: Strade Bianche, a race he’s never won.
And off the bike, Sagan continued to provide delicious bits of video magic that immediately went viral. So in honor of the recent Academy Awards, we offer cycling’s version of the Oscars, with Sagan as the only nominee. (Apologies to Greg Van Avermaet.)
Best Actor: Jeff Spicoli in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’
Sagan tapped his inner Jeff Spicoli — the millennial crowd will need to Google this reference — when responding to Sporza on how he lost the Omloop final sprint. Sagan seemed perplexed at the query, as if he wanted to say: “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”
Best Live Action Short Film: ‘Haribo, recovery food of the stars
Sagan took a page from Chris Horner’s Big Mac diet to prove that the best recovery food isn’t always complex carbohydrates and protein shakes. Haribo earns an honorable mention for best product placement in this Live Action Short. We cannot confirm whether those gummy bears are from Colorado, though.
Best Visual Effects: The Incredible Shrinking Chair
Sorry, “Star Wars,” Sagan’s incredible shrinking chair takes the honors. Sagan waltzed onto Sporza’s post-race breakdown at Omloop, made himself comfortable, and asked the question to Sep Vanmarcke that was on everyone’s mind: “Why didn’t you attack?”
Best Picture: ‘Any Given Sunday’
Sagan jumped with just under 300m to go to surprise the small pack at Kuurne for his first win in 2017. So much for that world champion’s curse (something he already disproved last year). Sagan can win any day of the week, but it’s always better when it’s the weekend, when all eyes are watching.
Best script: ‘Don’t crash’
Sagan is a man of few words, but when he does speak, he plays it straight. Think Gary Cooper or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll be back,” in ‘The Terminator.’ Ahead of Omloop, a reporter asked Sagan to break down his goals. Sagan’s top priority: “Don’t crash.”
Best Director: ‘Forrest Gump’
Sagan is learning from each race, and with that added experience, he’s getting harder and harder to beat. With his growing locks and beard, he’s also drawing comparison to The Dude of “The Big Lebowski.” Perhaps more apt comparison is Forrest Gump. “Ride, Peter, ride!” With a nice Belgian beer waiting at the end, he’s making it look so easy. “Was like was, race is race,” Forrest couldn’t have said it better.