Peter Sagan may have finished second three times this week in Tirreno-Adriatico, including after an acrobatic chase-back in today’s stage six to Fano, but says that he is not bothered by his lack of wins at that cycling is more about the show than the victory.
The world champion narrowly avoided falling when Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) crashed at 7.5km from the finish. However, he had to change wheels and chase back – which included a curb bunny hop – before having a chance to sprint. He pushed Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) to the finish line but could not pass him for the victory along Italy’s east coast.
“The fans appreciate that [effort and ability], then I’m very happy to do that for the fans, it’s nice,” Sagan said. “I don’t care about victories, it’s more about show.”
Sagan’s rear wheel rubbed after he narrowly avoided coming down in Gaviria’s crash, and he first tried switching with Maciej Bodnar before the team car arrived. The group slowed down, so he could have a chance to rejoin before the sprint in Fano.
This chase saw him bridge from group to group, but also jump a curb going over a roundabout into town.
Without Gaviria, who fractured a bone in his hand, Maximiliano Richeze tried to sprint for Quick-Step Floors. Sagan and Kittel came around, but Slovakian lacked some power due to his huge effort to rejoin the front group.
“I did a four kilometre time trial and I was fighting in the group to go into the final and in the end, I catch second place,” he continued. “It’s good, I’m happy with the performance, what I did, but well it’s second. I’m happy I didn’t crash, I’m healthy and that’s the most important thing.”
The team was amazed and breathed a sigh of relief that Sagan did not crash ahead of his first goal of 2018, Milan-San Remo on Saturday.
“There are things you guys see and are a lot of things you don’t, and some of them are amazing,” Sagan’s coach and team sports director, Patxi Vila said.
“That’s a big point on his side because that’s something you always want in a bike rider, he doesn’t crash and that means that he won’t be out of bike racing for a while. It’s always nice to have those skills.”