One of modern cycling’s best-known riders said cycling is a “boring sport” in a controversial interview with a Spanish newspaper this week.
Slovakian star and multiple World title holder, Peter Sagan (28), said he would not watch more than the last 10 kilometres of a cycling race as, “if you turn it on [at] 100 kilometres, you fall asleep, right?”.
“For me it is a boring sport, and I as a spectator only watch the last five kilometres,” he said, adding that little tended to change between the last 100 kilometres and the final 20.
“They’re always the same,” he said. “Two hours have passed; you’re in front of the TV without anything happening.”
During the interview, given just days after coming second in Vuelta a España, Sagan agreed with the interviewer’s suggestion he was “unique”, yet commented, “I’m not different, I pedal like everyone and do the same as everyone”.
He also had controversial comments for the forthcoming UCI Road World Championships, saying “I do not go there with hope”.
“I go there more to be a presence and to wear the Slovakia jersey,” he said.
The comments are likely to cause considerable upset among sponsors and broadcasters.
But Sagan also also took time to criticise his fellow riders for what he saw as overuse of recovery rollers.
“It makes sense after a stage where there is a sprint, but instead I see climbers doing [the] roller even if they did not do the sprint… It [makes] no sense.”
Sagan finished this year’s Vuelta a España with four second places, two thirds and second place in the points classification. The overall winner was British road and track racing cyclist, Simon Yates.
It’s not the first time the BORA-Hansgrohe rider has embroiled himself in controversy. In 2013 he was forced to apologise to a podium girl after pinching her bottom on stage the previous day.
In 2017, he was disqualified from the Tour De France for allegedly causing a crash, ending the race of Team Dimension Data rider Mark Cavendish.
Cavendish, who broke his shoulder in the incident, claimed Sagan had elbowed him during the sprint finish on stage four in Vittel.
Sagan was initially docked 30 seconds but officials upgraded his punishment to disqualification after reviewing footage of the collision.
“I can accept the decision but for sure I do not agree with them, because I think I have done nothing wrong,” Sagan said at the time.