By Nigel Wynn
Peter Sagan quickly established himself as a unique character in the pro cycling world, with extravagant finish-line celebrations and a flamboyant dress sense. He is as entertaining off the bike as he is on it.
At the weekend's opening cobbled classics in Belgium, Sagan thankfully showed no signs of changing.
With long hair and impressive beard, Sagan cut a distinctive figure in the post-race interviews after Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Sagan missed out to Classics sparring partner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in the race, finishing as runner-up after they had been in the race-winning move with Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac).
When a reporter asked Sagan a long question about how he lost the race, the Slovak star paused to wipe the dirt off his face and simply said 'no', followed by an even longer pause and a smile.
The interview then takes a comical turn as the reporter suggests – as was reported elsewhere – that Sagan suffered from a 'stomach problem' in the race's finale. Sagan's response is absolutely classic.
"I think it's normal for people to go on the toilet. No it's no problem, it's okay," he says, grinning.
In a following Belgian television panel interview, Sagan lowered his chair so much that his rainbow jersey was barely visible above the desk. He also took the opportunity to avoid his own question and ask Sep Vanmarcke why he did not attack during the race.
Then on Sunday, Sagan's fortunes were reversed as he convincingly took the victory in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. But rather than suck down an energy gel as he celebrated his victory, Sagan was filmed grabbing a huge handful of Haribo gold bears and stuffing them in his mouth before continuing on his way to the podium.
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