Peter Sagan will ride two Grand Tours, the Classics and represent Slovakia at the Tokyo Olympic Games this season.
The three-time world champion has unveiled his busy 2021 schedule for his 12th season as a pro, where he will return to the Giro d’Italia in May, having made his debut at the 2019 Italian Grand Tour, before going onto the Tour de France, where he will hope to reclaim the green jersey.
This season he won’t have to make the difficult choice between riding the Classics and the Giro d’Italia, as he did last season when the two coincided in the rescheduled calendar. Therefore, he’ll be able to make a run at winning both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix for a second time, improving on his solitary victory in 2020, a stage at the Italian Grand Tour.
“That was a serious change from the traditional program,” Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Ján Valach told Slovakian newspaper Pravda of Sagan’s 2020 schedule.
“I think he did well. He fought for the green every day in the Tour and continued that line in the Giro.”
Valach believes Sagan’s failed attempt to win yet another Tour de France green jersey, beaten in a fierce contest by Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter Sam Bennett, was hampered by less preparation before the Tour, with the WorldTour season only restarting with less than a month until the Grand Départ in Nice.
“He lacked better preparation because in other years he had a fuller schedule for the Tour,” Valach said.
Valach also believes the Classics is where Sagan is able to improve the most, and that Sagan’s age – he turns 31 later this month – will aid him.
“We have already talked about that several times,” he said. “He is now at the ideal age for this. In any case, they will be his main target in the coming seasons. Of course, it is also important that he retains his mental energy and that he enjoys it anyway. He is a fighter and he can still take victories, especially in the classic games and also in the bunch sprints – if the situation is optimal for that.”
Sagan’s five-year contract with Bora-Hansgrohe expires at the end of the season, but Valach says that discussion is for another time.
“We have no time pressure, these are matters for the managers. Peter focuses on his training and performance in competitions. A change of shift? I don’t want to speculate about that. We feel good here.”