I've nothing left to prove, says Peter Sagan

"What's done is done" says the mercurial Slovak, as he looks ahead to retirement

Peter Sagan riding off the front during stage 19 of the 2023 Tour de France
Sagan makes a rare foray off the front during stage 19 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: Tim De Waele / Getty)

Peter Sagan says he has nothing left to prove in cycling as he contemplates the final half-season of what has been a long and storied career.

The Slovak rider will retire from road cycling at the end of this season before turning his attention to the Olympic mountain cross-country racing in Paris next year.

Asked whether he would miss the glory or the money of top-level road riding, he said: “The glory I think will stay; I’ve got nothing to prove any more.”

The TotalEnergies rider was talking ahead of the final weekend of the Tour, which has proved lacklustre for him. An eighth-place finish on stage 11 to Moulins was his best result, followed by a smattering of top-20s. Little was seen of him for much of the race, giving the impression of a rider who was here to chill rather than to seek out one last shot at glory.

“What I did is done and that’s good. It’s also a very nice period of my life – all the things I did in road cycling. But everyone has to finish at some point.

He said that it was time now for the younger generation to take over and do their part.

He added: “I’ve done my job. Now I want to concentrate on myself and my family, and also to have some fun in mountain biking.”

“Where I started I would like to finish,” he added – referencing the beginnings of his competitive career, which started on fat tyres.

He even suggested that if his foray into off-roading worked out, he could carry on.

“I have one more year of mountain biking and, I still don’t know, if I do well, maybe I can continue mountain biking,” he said. “If not, I’ll stop after one year. There’s a lot of question marks.”

Sagan, 33, is retiring comparatively young, but his lack of results this year suggests he is ready to do so, whether that is mentally or physically. The closest he has come to winning a race this year was at January's Vuelta San Juan, where he was second on stage four, and he also took silver at the Slovak National road race.

Up to now he has won at least one race every year since he turned pro in 2009, including a record three back-to-back World Championships.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.