Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is one of the most popular riders in the professional peloton. He not only wins with panache in bunch sprints and spring Classics, but he also has the personality that endears him to fans across the world.
Whether it’s wheelie-ing over the finish line after a tough mountain stage, or re-enacting one of his favourite movies after winning a sprint, the Slovakian takes the time to entertain, not just focusing on watts and riding his bike optimally at all times.
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Riding up the Tourmalet on stage 14, one of the toughest climbs in this year’s Tour de France, a fan started running alongside the current green jersey holder. A lot of spectators do this, but unlike most this fan held out a copy of Sagan’s recently published autobiography as well as a pen, asking the three-time world champion to sign it.
Despite clearly battling against the incline, Sagan would go on to finish 146th on the stage nearly 26 minutes down on Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), the Slovakian took the fan’s book, held it against his handlebars and scrawled his autograph across the cover.
Handing it back to the spectator, Sagan pulled away, leaving the man in disbelief, a unique souvenir to mark only the third occasion a stage of the Tour de France has culminated with a summit finish at the Pyrenean climb.
Having won six points classifications at the Tour, Sagan currently leads this year’s competition, with a seventh win breaking Erik Zabel’s record.
Sagan has currently amassed 284 points, 93 more than his next nearest competitor Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida).
The Slovakian has also taken a stage victory, in what has once again proved a fruitful French Grand Tour for the 29-year-old, beating Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in the reduced bunch sprint on stage five, his 12th stage victory at the Tour.
Sagan has finished in the top five a further seven times in this year’s race, which has helped him amass his seemingly unassailable lead in the green jersey competition.