Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) refers to his rivals for the unofficial title of ‘fastest man on two wheels’ as ‘the sprinters’.
Does this suggest that the Slovakian considers himself something more than a powerhouse, who, once dragged to within sight of the finish line, can turn on the speed?
If he does, he is not wrong. Sagan’s talent is notable also on short climbs, as it was today, where he put down a marker for next week’s Milan-San Remo.
Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel, the sprinters to whom he referred, are far too talented to write off, and the maturing Manxman, overall winner, lest we forget, of the Tour of Qatar, spent another day in the blue jersey of race leader.
But Sagan showed today he has something that his rivals don’t. And after a season of stage wins last season, his search for new challenges may lead him to the Classics.
Official UCI WorldTour photographer, Stefano Sirotti, was among those to witness Sagan’s victory today in Narni Scalo.
Dark skies greet the riders in Narni Scalo. Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) keeps his focus
Mark Cavendish sends his OPQS troops to the front of the bunch as the stage reaches its climax
Disappointment is etched on the faces of ‘the sprinters’ – Cavendish and Greipel
Champagne socialite: Peter Sagan holds a bubbly celebration
Cavendish holds on to his hat as he accepts another jersey: the red tunic of points leader