Any given week, there are oodles of cycling stories flying around in the news. So here’s a quick-hit summary of this week’s happenings, plus my own garbage opinions on each. Much like my gambling advice, these takes are for entertainment purposes only!
Unless you live under a rock, you’re familiar with this week’s explosive story. That’s right, Peter Sagan was booted from the Tour de France after he collided with Mark Cavendish during the final meters of stage 4. The UCI’s race jury ruled that Sagan was “endangering some of his colleagues seriously,” and thus gave him the heave-ho. It all went down on July 4, and based on my own experiences here in Boulder, the news sent shockwaves across the U.S. Barbecues went cold. Fireworks fizzled. Small-town parades were cancelled. Small children cried.
Quite predictably, bike Twitter exploded with debate. OK, it wasn’t so much of a debate, but more of a collective rage scream. Gauging by my Twitter feed, pretty much everybody felt like the Tour de France had jumped the shark by allowing the UCI to kick Sagan out. I think I counted one guy who supported the decision.
So now we’re left with a boring sprint battle at le Tour. We’re also left with a burning question: what will Peter Sagan do with the rest of July? For the first time since 2013, he’s got a summer vacation! So how will Sagan spend his summer? I have some ideas…
Try some gravel races
Sagan stirred up some buzz last month when he ripped around on Specialized’s new Diverge gravel bike. As we all know, gravel racing is so hot right now. Hey Pete, Grinduro Scotland is coming up! I’d love to see Sagan race on the gravel. Think of all the rainbow striped bike gravel accessories he could use: rainbow handlebar bag, rainbow Bento Box, rainbow fenders, rainbow paint stir stick, rainbow toilet paper. The options are limitless. Also, gravel worlds is coming up in August out here in the United States, which presents an opportunity for him to win yet another rainbow kit. And, of course, Dirty Kanza 200 is only 11 months away, Pete. If you live in Kansas, keep watch for an entourage of Slovaks doing recon out on remote gravel roads this off-season.
Get his pedal fixed
Before he got kicked out, Sagan pulled off an amazing win in stage 3. Even though he pulled out of his pedal, he managed to clip back in and hold off Greg Van Avermaet. Maybe now that he’s got some free time this July, he could walk down to the local bike shop to sort out those pedals. I can imagine the conversation he’d have with the part-time teenager behind the counter.
Peter Sagan: “Hello, I’ve been having some trouble with pedals.”
Shop rat: “Uh, did you practice clipping out in your yard? Did you lube them?”
PS: “No, no. I don’t want to clip out. Ever. No clip out.”
SR: “We have some toe clips.”
PS: “Can you just screw my shoes onto pedals with drill?”
SR: “I think that will void your warranty…”
Find new personal sponsor
Unlike most pro cyclists, Peter Sagan has a bunch of personal sponsorships (Osmo nutrition, 100% glasses, some wine company). My guess is he could turn that stage 3 win into a new personal endorsement. He won with just one leg, right? Well, a few companies make one-sided power meters. Clearly, if Sagan can win a sprint with just one leg, then he only needs a one-sided power meter. This would be very relatable for the average amateur cyclist. If Specialized scrambles to produce its own one-sided power meter before Sagan signs with another brand, you can bet this sponsorship angle has some traction.
The Sagan family had big pre-Tour news: Peter (or maybe Petra?) junior is on the way! Like any good father, Sagan will probably spend time this month getting the nursery all set for the baby. Naturally, the room should be painted with world champion stripes. He could also set up a home trainer with a Strider bike — it’s never too soon to start training. Perhaps the nursery should be stocked with a big bag of Haribos if dad gets hungry late-night. We’re all looking forward to what is sure to be the ultimate cycling dad cave.