Clear, unanimous, and indisputable: Sagan is the best

The renowned cycling magazine Velonews lists Slovak Peter Sagan as the most valuable cyclist.

The Bora-Hansgrohe buses are often under siege thanks to Sagan. The Bora-Hansgrohe buses are often under siege thanks to Sagan. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

Sagan? A star of a rank that has long not been here. And he does not prove his worth only on the roads, a journalist says with a smile. Anyone we ask, they all praise Sagan univocally.

He can win everything he sets his mind on, and he has learned to live with defeats as well. He is calm. He may not realise himself that despite still competing, he has already become a legend.

He is praised by his team colleagues and rivals alike but also by sport managers and cycling legends like Eddy Merckx and Fabian Cancellara. Fans love him, crowds gather around the Bora—Hansgrohe buses before and after the races.

People form all over the world wave Slovak flags, wearing jerseys with the name Sagan on them, or with his likeness. When this Slovak athlete appeared at the Tour de Poland race, he caused a hysteria, capturing more attention than Polish cyclists.

The renowned magazine on cycling, Velonews, organised a survey resulting in the list of 25 most valuable cyclists in the peloton. It wanted to find the answer to who is the best cyclist when quality, popularity and value are considered.

“Peter Sagan. A clear, unanimous and indisputable decision which was not close victory at all,” the authors claim.

It is thrilling just to write about Sagan

Cycling, like other sports, is not only about successes. The authors of the list understand it, too – and they took into consideration, alongside performance, also teamwork, marketing value, popularity and longevity, i.e. the stability of good shape. They consulted the list with sport managers of teams, cyclists’ agents, and other important personalities of cycling, including Tour de France’s winner or world champions. The ballot was secret.

The survey resulted in a list of 25 athletes who have three attributes attached to their names each – the results, marketing value and teamwork. Each cyclist could have received between one and five stars for each of the attributes.

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In the chart, Esteban Chaves of the Mitchelton-Scott tema is listed as last; Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) is tenth, Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) seventh and Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) fifth. Christopher Froome (Sky) is second, behind Sagan.

Sagan’s triumph was clear, the authors write, adding that each of the secretly voting put Sagan on the top place, he won also in the vote of the Velonews editorial staff. Sagan has five stars for all three attributes. And while every racer ahs only a few sentences allocated, the Slovak cyclist got a much bigger space. This proves that mere writing about him is thrilling.

His achievements are extraordinary – completely different than just a sober description of bigger or smaller triumphs. Even if he wins the same race several consecutive times, it is thrilling and dramatic as if he achieved it for the first time ever. If he wins, most cameras focus him. And if he does not, most cameras focus him, again – this time with questions: What went wrong? Why didn’t he triumph? What was the reason?

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