Road-racer (re)turned cross-country rider, Peter Sagan, is relishing the Rio 2016 challenge later this month at the Olympic Games.
“I’m proud to be able to race the most important mountain bike race in the calendar at the biggest sports event in the world,” Sagan said.
“It’s nice for me to return to my roots, representing my Slovakia. It is always an honour for every athlete to represent their home country in the Olympics.”
Sagan has enjoyed great success both on and off the road. As a junior he claimed first place at the Val di Sole cross-country world champs. More recently he won gold at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, USA.
With the likes of five time world champion Nino Schurter, Julien Absalon and London 2012 gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy in the way, Sagan understands the task ahead of him will not be an easy one.
“I can head to Rio confident in my shape,” he said
“It will not be easy but I am ready for the challenge.”
The Tinkoff racer will be joining Bora-Hansgrohe for the 2017 season following a successful year on the road. Sagan tallied up three Tour de France stage wins as well as obtaining the Green Jersey,
Tinkoff’s General Manager, Stefano Feltrin, added some words of support for Sagan.
“It’s an honour for us to have the world’s number one rider on the road representing his country at the Olympics,” Feltrin said.
“We can take pleasure from watching Peter race in Rio and wish him the best of luck.”
The men’s cross-country event takes place on August 21st at the Deodoro Olympic Park where riders will face a 5.4km looped track that will be completed a number of times. It features rocks, gravel, singletrack topped with some seriously techy sections.
It will be interesting to see who comes out with the gold medal for their country. Who do you think will take it?
More can be found on the Rio 2016 Mountain Bike page.
And for all the Schurter fans; watch this…
(Can’t see the video? Click here)
Sagan might have his work cut out!