Slovakian content with how things went at the 2015 Tour de France, despite missing out on a stage win

The wait goes on for Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo). The now four-time green jersey winner will continue to hunt for a first stage win at the Tour de France since 2013, but despite that, said he was content with his performance after the conclusion of the Tour in Paris on Sunday night.

The Slovakian champion continued his remarkable consistency in the race, finishing second no less than five times. And that, coupled with some extraordinary breakaway performances, saw him dominate the green jersey points competition for another year, in spite of the organisers changing the rules to make it a closer competition.

>>> Watch: Peter Sagan’s amazing descent of the Col de Manse

But Sagan has also found himself in an unusual role at this Tour. Still only 25, he has become used to leading a team built around him in the hunt for stage wins, but this year was part of a team geared towards securing Alberto Contador an historic Giro d’Italia/Tour double.

It’s something that looked like it would hamper his chances for wins, despite being so good at going it alone. However, Sagan says he has benefitted from the experience of riding alongside Contador, helping his team leader, including giving him his bike after a crash on the stage to Pra Loup.

“I am very happy because this year was a very hard fight from the first stages,” Sagan said after the final podium ceremonies.

“My role in the team was different from previous years. I’m very happy that I haven’t crashed and that I can make it here in the green jersey – it’s a special feeling for me.

“It has been a different Tour for me but also a very big experience to ride with Alberto Contador, he is a big champion and I’ve also had a lot of fun in this year’s Tour on the road and together with my teammates.”

You wouldn’t realise the weight of expectation on Sagan’s shoulders when you see the way he carries himself. Generally light-hearted an joking around, even after his lone chase for Ruben Plaza on stage 16, which saw him take another second place, he was still seemingly positive as he explained his mysterious chest-thumping as he crossed the finish line.

But the pressure for results is seemingly as from inside the team than out. Sagan commands a hefty wage, and after a disappointing Classics season earlier this year, team owner Oleg Tinkov had already discussed cutting his wages.

Sagan’s first season with the super-team will be a steep learning curve, but he remained optimistic about what he could take from another Tour of green dominance, if not a stage win.

“For sure it was a very big fight from the start and I knew that it wasn’t easy,” he said on fighting it out in bunch sprints. “There was less pressure on me to create individual results but I also had a different role.

“But the pressure overall has been high, we have been very concentrated but it has been a big experience for me.

“I’ve tried to win stages, but it was not easy. I think I can be satisfied, I have been very aggressive and I have the green jersey”

Best of the 2015 Tour de France 

  • RobTM

    I think you’re showing cognitive dissonance.
    Any story I saw about Contador in 2015 TdF was about time losses, crashes, failed attacks and fatigue; not his being stripped of TdF titles for doping or links to his infamous former team mate.
    Yes, Froome missed 2 tests, 2010 & 2014; well within the rules which would allow 12 missed tests 2010-2015. You should consider the very many more clean tests as factual evidence.

  • Dr.Madhav

    Yeah, really! I’m aware of many dubious Clenbuterol cases, which seems quite hard to comprehend but not hard at all. My point : British media shouldn’t play nefarious card by going after Contador without any hard evidence (say like Gary Imlach of ITV4 or few Eurosport guys). I repeat again, that Clenbuterol verdict is highly questionable. But we got a strange UCI, ruled by some morons and idiots! Also, British media shouldn’t whine about the way Froome got treated in the French press (double standards).

    Yes, missing tests raises many questions. Froome can’t escape from it, so don’t make a scene out of it. Remember, how Serena Williams ‘played’ her stunt?

    Inspired by? I fully own and run few establishments, so I know what I’m contending about here 🙂

  • RobTM

    He lost 30-40secs on short TT to Froome this TdF, despite a lower performance level by Froome. A big long flat time trial at high speed with increase the time differences considerably, the drawback of being a petite climber. Remember the Pyrenees & Ventoux in 2013? On current form Froome is better in the heat, he lost time in Alps weakening with Bronchitis (coughing noticeably), for quite a while it looked like Quintana couldn’t make a break stick, so there’s no reason to expect Froome to lose minutes a climbing stage next year. He’s taken roughly as much out of Quintana as Quintana has Froome in mountains.

  • Stephen Parrino

    Quintana is not a bad time trial rider so even if you throw in a 40km flat time trial I don’t see him losing more than a minute to other GC guys. We saw he can gain up to a minute on mountain stages over the next best climber. Bardet could be his future competition but Quintana is already a mile ahead of him when he was his age. The only chance somebody will have in the future is a tour like the 2012 tour and a rider like Wiggins, but I’m pretty sure Wiggins was 1 in a million. Actually Sagan might just wheelie up the mountain and beat him, that wouldn’t be the strangest thing Sagan has done.

  • RobTM

    He’s going to be a contender, but ASO can simply schedule some long flat time trials… historically the tour’s been won by “all round” riders, rather than pure climbers. Quintana, won’t be able to simply wheel suck Froome for 3 weeks, then blast away from him on Alp D’Huez year after year.
    Just suppose, some young French talent shows up in the Anquetil/Hinault mold.. you really don’t think they won’t make a Quintana run difficult, helping Van Garderen to? I suspect this year’s mountainous route was chosen to help Quintana & Contador fight it out with Froome, without conceeding too much time TT-ing.
    The trouble with the doping, was it made the best TT-ist able to be the most consistent climber to.
    Finally, Sky aren’t signing Quintana!

  • Stephen Parrino

    If Sky signs Nairo then there is no point in watching the tour. Contador is done after next year, Froome will be over the hill soon, and van Garderen’s riding style is consistent but not a style that can win the tour. Quintana will be able to win more tour’s in a row than Armstrong, not by doping but simply because of lack of competition at his level.

  • RobTM

    Heheheheh, does mean Oleg lacks a scape goat now, apart from his star riders, whoops!!

  • RobTM

    Well Oleg wanted to win everything, GC in Giro, TdF, Vuelta; even suggesting unworkable rule changes to even the fatigue out (Contador tired due to Giro)
    Yet he’s advocating the money should be spread around. May be Contador doing Giro/Vuelta double would have helped team finances

  • NitroFan

    IMHO the one thing Tinkhof has done right was getting rid of Rijs!

  • RobTM

    Not if Sky aren’t signing Nairo Quintana, ASO could announce another TT light mountainous tour route again and Movistar will learn from this year.
    Remember other teams have been keen to sign Sky riders.. of course they know already how they’re training, Sky themselves are fairly open about it to, no secrets about Tenerife & Mallorca

  • RobTM

    The other problem is marking… one day the one guy who’s attack Sagan didn’t chase down was the solo winner. But this is Tinkov’s fault not the rider’s once he fired Bjarne Rijs. He couldn’t have everything in such a mountainous tour; he either needed to focus on TdF GC win, or Giro & Vuelta, plus a pair of punchy classics type riders for TdF able to get into breakaways, or value the Green jersey and accept that being busy so often, meant the other riders attention were absorbed by Sagan.
    As it is.. Sagan is one who most delivered and provided support to Contador on many days; yet the message is… Oleg’s not really happy as no stage win.

  • RobTM

    Really? So rider suspended for Clenbuterol inspires.
    Yet, one who’s come through years of tests clean, advocated testing during altitude training and sharing data with anti-doping; furthermore one who grew up in Africa rather than established cycling nation doesn’t? Funny ole world, narrow small world. Perhaps this Dr is inspired by big pharma?? 🙂

  • Stephen Parrino

    I agree that teams do need some profit from the Tour so they can afford to pay their most skilled riders, especially the smaller teams. Will this lead to Sky not dominating the tour though? Probably not as long as nobody learns of their training programs.

  • Aurelio

    The way I saw it Tinkoff wanted Sagan to win at least one Monument this year. When he did not win it he wanted to win the Tour with Contador, the green jersey was not a priority. And I think that he wanted Sagan to win at least a stage but with no team around him he cannot be too mad about 5 second places and the green jersey.

  • NitroFan

    I suspect that may be close to the truth!

  • Stephen Parrino

    You didn’t see the note Oleg gave Peter during the last week during a stage? It said “Stage win or gulag”. Bye Peter.

  • Dr.Madhav

    There is nothing much to deliberate. Froome doesn’t inspire the way Contador does to millions of Cycling fans out of there.

  • NitroFan

    So nothing of value to add to the debate .

  • NitroFan

    That was what I was thinking he seemed a bit like a man knowing he was going back for a rolloking that he did not deserve!
    A great rider bike handler and worthy winner of the Maillot Vert. But he was in a no win compromised position as his teams stated aim was yellow for Contador. I wonder if he will stay for another year?

  • Dr.Madhav

    Never mind. Sagan is far more pleasure to watch and joy over Froome.

  • RobTM

    Can you be more specific? I do think he was in an awkward situation, he couldn’t be satisfied with 2nd places, but on other hand had to avoid trap of suggesting his team could do more for him, to help him win. Oleg Tinkov must have wanted more than the green jersey

  • NitroFan

    I do not know Peter Sagen personaly but did anyone else get the feeling he was not very comfortable in this years interviews his body language was very strange,.