Speaking at a group call with reporters Sunday, Sagan suggested that his prize for 2021 could be a rainbow jersey or Olympic medal rather than another green jersey for his collection.
“We will have to see what is my schedule,” Sagan replied when asked of his ambitions at the Tour. “I have a schedule from now until the classics. After that, we will have to see what I’m going to do and we will see. We will decide. It’s a very important year with the Olympic Games and the world championships, which could be good.”
Bora-Hansgrohe director Ján Valach indicated this week that Sagan would be starting both the Tour and Giro d’Italia this season. However, as far as Sagan is concerned, the only thing that is set in stone is his focus on the Toyko Games and the world championships, set to play out in the heart of Flanders.
While the mountainous Olympic road race may pack too much ascent for Sagan, the event is indelibly inked into his schedule after he missed his chance in Rio while he gambled on a start in the mountain bike event. Similarly, having sat out the overly-hilly Imola worlds last year, Sagan is placing a priority on battling in the bergs for the rainbow jersey this September.
Sagan hinted that a busy later-summer could come at the expense of potential starts at the Giro or Tour.
“The schedule is not sure. We will see what will happen,” he said. “Now a lot of races are not yet scheduled. We will see how we are going to manage this year. It will take some time to program everything and to plan.”
Sagan’s season looks set to be bookended by two cobbled peaks – first on the stones of Flanders and Roubaix in April, and five months later, in the race for the world title.
For now, plotting a line between the cobbles of spring and the cobbles of September via the mountains of Tokyo remains a work in progress.