Peter Sagan came to the aid of Scottish tourist Willie McColl on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, alongside three other professional cyclists.
On Tuesday, McColl suffered a puncture for the third time in just two hours while out cycling on the island. Out of spare inner tubes, the Scotsman waited at the side of the road before flagging down the first group of riders he saw.
Unbeknownst to the 63-year-old, that group of riders contained three-time world champion Peter Sagan, Alpecin-Fenix pro Michael Gogl, and unidentified Bora-Hansgrohe and TotalEnergies riders. Before realising it was actually Sagan fixing his puncture, the Scotsman initially thought the riders were a "bunch of young kids".
Nice story, as mentioned in this week's @cycling_podcast about a friend of my dad. Willie McColl was riding in Gran Canaria yesterday when he punctured having run out of spare tubes. Some riders stopped to help him fix it. Take a bow, Peter Sagan. 👏https://t.co/whoWuthOa4 pic.twitter.com/BvknKaLYAkJanuary 26, 2022
McColl told road.cc: “Having run out of spare tubes after puncture number three, I was dependent on the goodwill of passing cyclists.
"I signalled to a bunch of ‘young kids’, who without hesitation came to my aid, provided a tube and set about getting me going again."
With the riders all wearing their team's new 2022 kits, McColl turned to Gogl, who finished sixth last season at Strade Bianche, asking him if raced with the team.
Gogl responded: "Yes, and look, there is Peter Sagan."
McColl also told road.cc: “I didn’t recognise Sagan initially. It was Michael who pointed him out. He looked much younger than I had thought.
“So there I was, a 63 year old Scot with a team of domestiques assisting me, all pros and possibly the most famous guy in cycling. I expressed huge gratitude- one of them just said simply ‘we’ve all been there’ – very, very nice.”
Sagan is still awaiting his first appearance for new team TotalEnergies, after the cancellation of the Vuelta a San Juan. The Slovak rider joined the French-based outfit for 2022 from Bora-Hansgrohe, dropping down to UCI ProTeam level.
Meanwhile, Gogl also moved teams at the turn of the year, fortunately making his way to Alpecin-Fenix after the folding of South African side Qhubeka-NextHash. The Austrian is also still awaiting his debut with the team.
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