Newly crowned world champion Peter Sagan will come hot out of the gate in 2016 with an ambitious race program.
Sagan, who’s been busy since winning the world title with several trips abroad, is already thinking about next season.
“It’s a bit early to speak about the calendar with precision,” the Tinkoff-Saxo rider told La Gazzetta dello Sport during a recent stop in Italy. “First, I want to take a bit of a vacation, because I still haven’t had a chance to take a break since the worlds.”
Having said that, Sagan also confirmed the obvious: the spring classics and the Tour de France will be his top season goals, and then he’ll rebuild and defend his world title in Qatar next October.
“I will concentrate on the classics in the spring, and then later the Tour,” he said. “I’ve seen that the Qatar worlds are good for a rider like me, so I will try to do it again.”
No rider has successfully defended the stripes since Paolo Bettini in 2006-07, an achievement that’s only been equaled five times in cycling history.
It’s likely Sagan will debut at the Tour de San Luís in Argentina (January 18-24), and perhaps the Tour of Qatar before a likely return to Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo ahead of the northern classics. Sagan is also likely to race Paris-Roubaix next season.
Riders who have repeated at the world championships
Georges Ronsse (BEL), 1928-29
RIk Van Steenberger (BEL), 1956-57
Rik Van Looy (BEL), 1960-61
Gianni Bugno (ITA), 1991-92
Paolo Bettini (ITA), 2006-07