Peter Sagan says he is not considering retirement anytime soon and that people have read too much into the Slovakian's fallow season, where he recorded only one win.
"When you win a lot you raise people's expectations, but often there's only a centimetre between first and second place but people only remember the winner," Sagan told La Gazzetta dello Sport, having record five second-place finishes and three thirds this calendar year.
"Everything changes. Nobody is the same as they were a decade ago. It's the same for us racers. But I still want to race. I still like cycling."
The three-time world champion turns 31 in January and has another year to go on his contract with Bora-Hansgrohe, and says he is "definitely not done yet" with the sport.
"We all change as people and as cyclists, but I still love to race. If I'm good for 20 wins next year, people will say I'm back. That is not correct either. I'm still here and I'm definitely not done yet," Sagan said.
His one victory came on stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia, his first win at the Italian Grand Tour. Having finished runner-up behind Arnaud Démare three times over the opening week in bunch sprints, Sagan went off up the road to solo to victory instead.
"I am especially happy with the way I managed to win the stage: by attacking. I really had to fight for it. I think people like that and it is important to me too. It has a special place in my heart," Sagan said.
The Slovakian has taken 114 wins since turning professional in 2010, and in the 2020 season opted to ride his debut Giro d'Italia instead of competing in his favoured "spring" Classics, such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
Sagan won't have to wait long for another opportunity, though, with only 156 days at the time of writing until the next edition of De Ronde.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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