The two great men finally meet
As if being the son of Peter Sagan wasn’t enough to help him win bike races in the future, three-month-old Marlon Sagan could be given a blessing from an even higher power with his father set to travel to the Vatican to ask the pope to baptise his young child.
Sagan, who is currently in Australia preparing for the Tour Down Under which starts on Tuesday, will make the trip to the Vatican City on January 24, according to Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The three time world champion will be accompanied by his wife Katarina, his sister and mother, and his son Marlon, who Sagan hopes will be baptised by Pope Francis as part of the visit.
Sagan will also be treated to a private visit to the Sistine Chapel, and will present Pope Francis with a custom Specialized Venge that will reflect white light in the dark and will be enriched by unique details, such as logos of the Vatican, the Papal coat of arms and the Argentine flag on the frame together with the name Francesco.”
Watch: Top 10 riders of 2017 – the discussion
The visit was reportedly arranged by Andrea Calcagni, commercial director of Volkswagon Italia, the car brand which has links with Specialized, the bike sponsor for Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team.
After completing the Tour Down Under and meeting the Pope, Sagan will travel for a high-altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain, before heading to Belgium for the first of the cobbled Classics at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 24.
The Slovakian rider will be hoping that his meeting with Pope Francis will give him the divine intervention that he was lacking in the early part of the 2017 season, when his only win in the northern Classics was at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, crashing at the Tour of Flanders and falling short in other events.