Has Peter Sagan become a one dimensional rider?

Sagan’s biggest strength has always been his sprint speed but I never considered him a pure sprinter in the vein of Cavendish, Ewan, Bennett, Groenewegen, and the like. I always considered him more of a puncheur/roleur with excellent finishing speed. His Richmond WC and 2018 Roubaix wins are good examples of this I think. The last few years he has seemed to become solely a sprinter. Maybe age has changed him? I think the results against pure sprinters show that he doesn’t have quite the top end of those guys. I always want him to attack a little further out like Alaphilippe or Gilbert.

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My sense is that his performance in general has dipped for whatever reason, and he still has the team and the respect in the peloton to get near the front for the bunch sprints, but he’s having trouble closing the deal in any case. His performance won’t allow him to pull off the kind of races you mentioned from the past.

His last few results are promising. he was so much fun to watch when he was at the top.

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Sagan was never a pure sprinter and he sure isn’t one now…he was very much a rider like Tom Boonen - a classics rider who could sprint well (but he was more versatile than Boonen, certainly).

It has been obvious for a couple of years now that he is just going through the motions…TE signing him is going to help get them some wildcard invites (but they would have gotten a Tour wildcard anyway just because they are French), but overall, that contract was a bad move for them.

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Sagan was always kind of self sufficient as a sprinter because of his instincts/ability to read the sprint better and faster than anyone else and just brute physical capability to punch through air in a solo flyer or to get around to the best lead outs at 70kph I think he just got older and its easier for an older rider to retain the top end needed to win with a structured lead out but not that other stuff.

I also think he’s basically out there making mortgage payments and probably doesn’t like racing on the road that much.

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I think that space that Sagan use to own is so much more hotly contested now.
Wout, MVDP, Alaphillipe etc are just younger, hungrier and faster.
Matthews has the same problem.

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Race was race. Was like was.

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He can’t climb like he used to, so he can’t get the separation into smaller groups that he used to, or drop other faster-than-him finishers like he used to. With his bike skills, he’ll still surf the wheels to pick up a few wins this year, but he won’t be near the results he was capable of in 2016-2018.

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I think he did well until 2018, suffered a bit in 2019 with Van der Poel and Van Aert bursting into the stage. Since Covid started he has been a shadow of himself, but we shouldn’t downplay the impact covid did to the motivation of some riders nor the chance/bad luck factor in a rider career. He had some very untimely relegations, crashes and small illnesses that prevented him to do well but that doesn’t mean the spark is not there. His way of answering the medias sometimes make him look that he is a bit unmotivated but that may just be a role he plays.

Obviously if you have a good sprint but do not feel at the top of your game you will sometimes choose the easiest strategy to wait for the sprint.

At 32 I don’t think he is done yet and can still win some really good races but he may need to have the stars aligned correctly and I think he should try to get a bit leaner.

I have the feeling the field is also bit deeper than during the Cancellara/Boonen/Sagan period. Those 3 let a lot of wins away to what looked like second fiddles but nowadays you have a lot of competitions between the Van Aert&VdP pair, Alaphilippe, Colbrelli, Pidcock, a number of very smart and fast Danes and the usual QuickStep team. Look at Gianni Moscon. He is undeniably very good but still has yet to win a big race. In the sprinter area this is the same between Jacobsen, Groenewegen, Ewan, Cavendish, Philipsen, Merlier, Ackerman, Van Aert, Gaviria, Bauhaus, Viviani, Demarre and I am ignoring a few and not counting Van der Poel or other fast finishers like Mads Pedersen, Laporte, Sénéchal who can enter into the mix in a good day. Everybody train better and thus the difference are much smaller and if you get some untimely injuries or sickness it can totally derail your season.

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He’s been through a divorce and it’s well known he isn’t in pro cycling due to his love of doing big km. He’s lost motivation and can you blame him after winning just about everything for a number of years?

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Mother Nature is undefeated. He’s just aging.

Mother Nature has her fighting licence indefinitely suspended after being brutally stopped in the 1st round by Valverde

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Peloton has changed since 2018. New era of the sport. However I am not prepared to write him off for any of the classics.

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I think this is key; he hasn’t seemed to be the same rider since going through the divorce and his motivation just doesn’t seem to be as high as it once was. He doesn’t have that playful streak that used to appear in interviews or while occasionally hamming it up for the moto cameras in the bunch. I was sad to see him dealing with the mechanical at MSR this past week. While I had no expectation that he would win, I would have liked to see him pushing the descent of the Poggio for a top ten, and I’m not counting him out to pull a fast one in a classic this year, esp. if WVA/MVDP continue to focus on each other and continue to give other riders opportunities to win.

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see it in all sports…12 years or so as a pro, having won everything, i cant imagine he’s that fired up anymore

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maybe he should have a word to Sean Kelly…

It is probably a whole lot of reasons. I don’t think it is just age but being consitently on the top end of pro cycling since 2010 must be hard on body and mind.
Then divorce. Having a son (can change the mindset completely). Having untimely illnesses in/before the spring classics every year since 2020. Crashes (didn’t happen so much before).
Younger riders: MvdP, WvA, Pdcock, etc.
AND (my opinion) he doesn’t take stuff others are willing to take.

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I beg to differ. The Giro stage he won in 2020 was top shelf. The numbers he put out there were as good as ever.

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That’s it, his numbers are as good as ever but the competition has improved.

I wonder if Sagan regrets not having a more mixed calendar Iike WVA/MVDP/Pidcock so that he could still do some CX and MTB.

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His choice of team says it wasn’t his top priority (reg. MTB at least).

I can’t say WVA does “mixed” calendar as he is within a full block of road racing or cx racing, not mixing both.

Pidcock and MvDP mixing road and MTB within the same period is different. Still it remains to be seen if MvDP will show up again in MTB World cup this season. He is already 27 and he failed reaching his world championship and olympic goals on MTB. He is alredy feeling bad about failed opportunities in the classics. I doubt we will see him in MTB anytime soon as he probably feels at this point that he needs to focus on one discipline to maximize his chances in the classics and grand tours stage wins. He is talking about tackling Giro and TDF, I don’t see him racing on a flat bar bike this year but focusing on the road until comes the time to mark points to qualify for Paris olympics.

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