Road racing phenom and star Peter Sagan announced that 2023 is the last year fans will see him racing a World Tour. As he wraps up competitive road bike racing, he plans to focus on mountain biking in the 2024 Olympics. Sagan announced the decision on Instagram and his YouTube channel.
The Slovak athlete has been competing in World Tour road races like the Tour de France and Vuelta a España for over ten years now and is the only male cyclist to win the UCI Road World Championship three years in a row and has more than 120 victories to his name.
Sagan has also earned a reputation for not taking road cycling as serious as some of the other major athletes—a glaring contrast between some of the stone-faced athletes on the World Tour and the playful Sagan.
While road cycling athletes who transition to MTB may get some gentle ribbing from fans, the 33-year-old actually started mountain biking at nine-years-old before he became a professional road bike athlete. He previously competed in cross-country MTB at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but suffered multiple tire punctures and lost any chance at a commendable finish.
Mathieu van der Poel, 28, has been the most notable crossover athlete who competes in World Tours and mountain bike races alike. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he unfortunately crashed out of the race after a ramp had been removed without his knowledge, according to Van der Poel.
Sagan, still sponsored by Specialized, says this isn’t goodbye by any means, and for professional mountain bike fans, this is more of an unexpected hello and should spice up the spectating.
“We’ll go on to carry out this incredible project to reach the Paris Olympics and race on mountain bike. We’ll see whether it is even possible, but I think it can be another nice adventure.”