Peter Sagan shows off a pair of hairy legs in the team time trial at the Tour de San Luis, bucking the trend of professional cyclists worldwide


Peter Sagan can do whatever he wants and pull it off, it seems. From white shorts with his World Champion’s kit to serenading his new wife while dressed as Danny from Grease in a bizarre video.

But to start 2016 Sagan has taken it one step further by seemingly shunning a cycling tradition and competing with hairy legs.

One voyeur eagle-eyed snapper got a picture of Sagan with some pretty decent foliage on his pins in the team time trial at the Tour de San Luis.

Maybe this is Sagan’s way of levelling the playing field? Maybe he’s testing out a new aerodynamic theory? Maybe he just doesn’t know the Spanish for ‘one Bic please’…

Even with the hairy legs, Sagan and co rode to fourth in the opening stage in San Luis, finishing 23 seconds down on winners Etixx-Quick Step.

With hills and mountains to come on the next six stages of the race, Tinkoff’s general classification hope Rafal Majka will have some work to do to get time back on the likes of Nairo Quintana, who sits eight seconds back on leader Maximiliano Ariel Richeze.

  • oaten living sin

    Get a life you lot!!!

  • BillR

    I have no fondness for Specialized and I won’t buy their products because of some of their business practices but I don’t see that there is any reason to be so cynical about the Win Tunnel results. In this case they are testing something that isn’t going to increase sales unless they start marketing special razors for cyclists so they don’t have any obvious incentive to misrepresent the results.
    They actually do provide more information than you suggest. For the first subject they ran the pre-shave test 10 times and repeated it 10 times after shaving. Each rider served as his own control. They did not say how many times they repeated the testing for the other 5 subjects and did not report any of the standard deviations but they did state that the range of results for the 6 test subjects was something like 50-82 seconds saved. (I’m not sure I got that exactly right, didn’t want to listen again)
    I don’t know exactly how they estimate seconds saved from differences in the aerodynamic drag since I did not study fluid mechanics in depth but I do know enough about statistics to recognize that even without the details about the means, the number of repetitions and the standard deviations if the null hypothesis is that shaving makes no difference and if they ran the test on six different riders, all of whom had lower aerodynamic drag after shaving, the probability of that outcome is 1/2^6 or about 1.6%. Granted the experiment involved small numbers of non-randomly selected riders but unless there is other evidence to the contrary I have to conclude that they have a strong case for the aerodynamic benefits of shaving legs.
    I am aware of one previous study that found no difference but as I understand it that study used a static model of a leg, it did not measure the aerodynamics of moving human legs.
    I once missed a medal in a time trial by less than 2 seconds so personally I’ll continue to shave even if the benefits are small. After all, the cost of shaving is minuscule. I’ll take all the legal free speed boosters I can.

  • LaszloZoltan

    probably a greater risk of infection from an errant cut

  • ummm…

    u got me Roger. I’m a babbling maniac. Go shave your legs.

  • Roger

    You mentioned “margin of error” above. And no, I don’t know what you meant by it. In fact very little of what you write seems to make sense.

  • ummm…

    now, we dont need a study for that. I wholeheartedly agree.

  • ummm…

    you dont know what margin of error is? You believe that they used the least convincing of the test results? I’m not going to waste my time reading this ridiculous study. It was done to fill in time and appeal to ultra Freds. Go head shave yourself, buy your 10K bike. Believe that it will make you faster. Enjoy the ride.

  • Roger

    What “margin of error”? They can measure the drag at different air speeds and with different rider/bike configurations. Both drag and air speed can be measured pretty accurately. Also, they give a range of figures; the 82 seconds was for one rider and one particular setup.

    Anyway, if you want to know the exact test conditions and the underlying assumptions, you should ask them; it would be better than ridiculing them when you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • J1

    I hate hairy sports massages though.

  • debthater

    Most important reason to shave legs is for sanitation – makes it far easier to deal with sweat and injuries.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Gee I feel like I’m among some super Fagan fans here brother. He’s a cool dude and that’s a fact.

  • Ala alfa

    Because people like it more than hairy legs.

  • Harri

    wait, why are you talking about tattoos?

  • ummm…

    no it is not. I’m going to use some common sense/wisdom here. Number one they dont explain the controls or the methodology at all, really. Secondly they try to tell us that 82 seconds on a 40km ride is saved. Where is the margin of error? How do they control so accurately to claim such a thing? It is a ridiculous assertion on face value, because that is all they offer us. Anything to sell bikes, and I own one of theirs. But, cmon. Put down the Kool Aid

  • jeff

    It’s not the strongest science, but good enough to show that there is almost certainly a significant benefit.
    What ever the flaws, it’s roughly 1000 times more reliable than simple opinion, common wisdom, etc as posted here.

  • ummm…

    dont even try to justify yourself. watch that ridiculous video he asked you to watch and put your thinking cap on. No need to temper the message.

  • Ala alfa

    He looks good. It is better than tattoo. More natural.

  • ummm…

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOO PLZ. I just watched that nonsense. A couple of specialized dude bros wasting an afternoon. Cyclists shave legs because, much like in the peloton, we conform and travel as a pack. It is done solely as a right of passage into some sort of dorkie subgroup of cyclists. If there is ANY valid reason, besides “Saving 82 seconds” OVER 40KMS (margin of error anyone?) is if you fall you have a clean surface to bandage up. Why dont you shave your head or your arms. That could save like an hour. Bjarne Riis won the TDF cause he was bald, didnt know? Marginal gains.

  • davies

    Tongue was in the cheek there fellas. Good reasons for a pro to shave, aero probably not even the main one, but as a non pro I just can’t be bothered.

  • Brian Stephens

    All this is merely another training ride for Sagan…I’m sure he’s thinking about a classic or 2…and the TDF.

  • J1

    Wax then.

  • J1

    Rule #33, Sagan. Don’t try and start a trend.

  • Steve Lesson

    More parasitic drag from the press than from fur 🙂

  • Sutton Atkins

    To avoid the pain in the bollocks… don’t shave your bollocks. 😉
    p.s. your boundary layer theory is incorrect in this situation.

  • jeff

    No, that’s simply not true. Works with faintly rough surfaces underwater for hydrodynamics but is literally a drag for legs on cyclists. A huge one. Check the “win tunnel” video on youtube. Data doesn’t guess

  • davies

    The hairs on the legs produce an aerodynamic boundary layer, similar to a rough shark skin being supremely hydrodynamic, which reduce surface turbulence and improves aerodynamics. Also not a pain in the bollocks having to shave.