Peter Sagan will head to Italy in early October to compete in the first ever edition of the UCI gravel World Championships.
The first two editions of the competition are scheduled to take place in Italy, with Sagan lining up on the start line at the first edition in Veneto, Northern Italy on 8-9 October 2022.
In 2023 the championships will return to Italy in a yet to be confirmed location.
The Slovakian told Cycling Weekly that he plans to compete in Italy in order to “give back to the people” that have supported him throughout his illustrious career including some of his sponsors Specialized, Sportful and 100% sunglasses.
He also explained that his current team Total Energies have recently enabled him to pursue opportunities in cycling not only focussing on the road.
He said: “I found out about the championship and yes, it’s a last minute decision but I want to go to it. It will be difficult to arrive in the best condition to win but it’s not important for me. I want to say thank you to the people who have supported me for so long and to give back to the fans what they want. That's what’s most important.”
Gravel is a huge market for one of Sagan's long term sponsors Specialized.
The 32-year-old recently competed at the electric mountain bike championships in Les Gets, France, an experience which he explained was important despite only placing 16th in the race and suffering two crashes.
“I enjoyed the atmosphere at the e-mtb race, it was fun to meet with the fans and go for the public. The result is important, yes, but to give back to the people too,” he said.
In a recent interview with Cycling News (opens in new tab) ahead of the elite men’s road race at the world championship on Sunday, Sagan joked that he would “win the world title and then quit the road” something which he reiterated was a comment purely for the humour in his typical style.
“No, no I would not quit at this moment. I was just joking of course! The numbers are still good, just other guys sometimes have better numbers. I still have much more to give in cycling,” he added.
Earlier this year in June, Sagan rode the Unbound gravel race in Kansas, United States. His TotalEnergies and long-time teammate Daniel Oss also competed in the 100 mile event.
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