SLOVAK cyclist Peter Sagan, after an outstanding result in the 2012 Tour de France cycling race, where he took the green jersey and won three stages, will represent Slovakia at the London Olympics on July 28. Sagan’s success in the tour has placed him among the most promising young cyclists in the world.
“The achievements I made in this race enormously exceeded my expectations,” the 22-year-old cyclist from Žilina – who competes for the Liquigas-Cannondale team – told the TASR newswire. At a stroke, he became the most successful Slovak cyclist in this prestigious annual event.
“I wanted one stage victory and I have three. I wanted the green jersey and I got it. I could not have wished for more.”
Sagan has been particularly good at sprint stages but showed some promising signs in other stages of the Tour de France as well. The young Slovak has won some less prestigious races in the USA, Italy, and Poland but has not yet captured a victory in one of the grand tours.
“We will see whether I can improve in the hill-climbing stages and if I can manage to lose weight. This is my biggest problem: in the hills it makes a difference if you weigh 65 kilograms or 77, like I do,” Sagan stated.
On the opening day of the 2012 London Summer Olympics Sagan is slated to participate in the 250-kilometre road race. He will be the only Slovak participating, while cyclists from other countries will have as many as four co-competitors. The leading contender in the race is the UK’s Mark Cavendish, who can count on help from Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.
30. Jul 2012 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská