FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is not aiming to shed weight and win the Tour de France in the coming years.
Sagan, who just relinquished his rainbow jersey after a three-year run as world champion, plans to keep following the path that has led to success so far.
“Who knows what’s going to happen with me,” he told The Telegraph when asked if he would lose weight to challenge the top riders like Sky’s Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas in the Tour de France.
“If I lose the weight, am I still going to be strong? I might not be the man I am. Maybe I will lose what nature made me.
“My feeling is: why change something that is working?”
Classics and sprints are what work for Sagan, who currently weighs around 165 pounds. He won his world titles on lumpy courses that allowed him to sprint away from a reduced field. From Richmond in 2015 until Innsbruck last month, he reigned.
He spoke about those three years in a recent book, “My World,” which debuted last week in London. Ahead of the event, Sagan said he was “too fat” to contend for a fourth world title in Innsbruck.
Sagan rocketed to the top of cycling with his WorldTour debut in 2010. Besides three world titles, he counts wins in the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Ghent-Wevelgem, and 11 stages and six points competition titles in the Tour.
Some insiders close to Sagan suggested that he could lose weight and one day transition from classics cyclist to a Tour de France general classification rider. Similar transitions were made by Bradley Wiggins and Thomas.
“My personal bet is that — with the proper maturation, weight loss — is that he’ll become a grand tour rider,” Sagan’s former trainer Paolo Slongo said after his first Tour stage win in 2012.
“Like [Lance] Armstrong, who began his career as a bigger rider, a little brash, who no one gave much faith. He has no limits in the one-day races and I’m betting on the grand tours as well.”
“In the future, he can aim for stage races,” his former manager at Team Liquigas, Roberto Amadio, said in 2014. “He goes strongly in time trials and on climbs. With training, he can win a Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice, start from there and move ahead.”
Sagan does not want to change what is working. Instead, he could aim for a record number of Flanders or Roubaix titles, or perhaps win Amstel Gold or Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“Everyone thinks I can [switch to being a Tour contender], but I think it is not for me,” he said. “It’s already hard to win, even for the climbers. They have to make a lot of sacrifices with food, training.
“I am happy to stay this way. I don’t want to be making even more sacrifices. I don’t see myself to be that serious.”
Sagan’s 2018 season has reached an end. He is due to kick off his 2019 season at Australia’s Santos Tour Down Under in January.