Former world champion Peter Sagan said he is focusing on his Classics campaign before he considers retaking the rainbow stripes in Yorkshire next year.
The Slovakian also said he hopes to add another Paris-Roubaix or Tour of Flanders title to his glowing palmarès, but is considering his chances in the climber’s Classics too.
Sagan, who handed the rainbow jersey to Spaniard Alejandro Valverde last weekend after three years in the stripes, said he is not yet considering his chances of a fourth World Championship win.
Speaking to an exclusive audience at a Hansgrohe shower company showroom in central London on Thursday night, Sagan weighed up his potential for 2019: “It’s still a long way to go until Yorkshire.
“Starting in Australia and then the Classics and then the Tour de France. You never know what’s going to happen in the season.
“The Classics are more important. From the start of the season I’m not going to think about the World Championships if I’ve got to race a Classic.”
Bora-Hansgrohe rider Sagan was in London this week for the launch of his new book My World, which was released on Thursday.
After a tour of radio stations and newspapers, Sagan attended a Q&A event at the Hansgrohe store, hosted by Matt Barbet.
When asked about the Classics, Sagan said: “Il Lombardia I think is too hard. I think so but we’ll see.
“I’d like to win again maybe Flanders or Roubaix. I’ll keep trying to win Milan-San Remo.
“It depends how I feel after Roubaix if I go for Amstel [Gold Race] or Liège[-Bastogne-Liège]. I’ve never done that hardcore schedule.
“I think it will be really hard to keep going from San Remo to Liege.”
Much of Sagan’s reflections revolved around his three consecutive World Championship victories – a feat never before achieved in cycling and which make up the basis of his autobiography.
Sagan also reflected on his time with Bora-Hansgrohe, the team he joined at the start of 2017 after his former Tinkoff team collapsed.
The 28-year-old said: “I’m very happy with this team because I was dealing at that time with Quick-Step and BMC, everyone wants me. The problem was my group – soigneurs and mechanics.
“For most teams it’s a problem because they have the people, they know what to expect from them, how they are working. Now if they have to fire someone and take [my staff] you don’t know what’s going to happen.
“I think Bora was a smaller team with less people. When they became WorldTour they had to take my people.
“I think they did me a big favour with this move and I could take my team.”
On the eve of the 2018 World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe extended their partnership to 2021.
He added: “I think it’s important to be settled [with a team].
“When I came from Tinkoff to Hansgrohe it was different. I felt like there was no changes. It was good.”
While Sagan is a rock star in the cycling world, his wider celebrity status is yet to be cemented, as he revealed during his media rounds.
When going to the toilet after an interview on Thursday, someone leaving the toilet noticed Sagan’s T-shirt, emblazoned with his logo and surname.
That evening Sagan told the gathered fans: “I was doing interviews and I went to the toilet and I went in and somebody going out from the toilet said ‘Sagan’?’
“I said ‘yeah.’
“He said ‘What is Sagan? What is that?’.
“I said ‘Peter Sagan’.
“I said ‘it’s a cyclist’.
“He said ‘who?’”
The person questioning Sagan thought the T-shirt was inspired by the late astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan (no relation), not the six-time Tour de France green jersey winner Peter.
Sagan also responded to those who believe he finds bike racing easy, and who are surprised when he doesn’t win even the most testing races.
He said: “We never know you’re going to win before the race.
“Sometimes I’m joking about that, but it’s not like that.
“It’s not easy. Everybody thinks for me cycling is easy, but that’s not true.”
Sagan’s book, My World, is an in-depth look at his life behind bars, including insights into his raining programmes, how he deals with the pressure and his most precious victories.
The book is published by Penguin Random House in hardback and ebook for £20.