Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) showed to the world at the Amgen Tour of California that he is a force to be reckoned with, winning four stages out of four by beating some of the fastest men in the world.
It was a long hot day on Wednesday for all the riders, where they faced six categorized climbs on the longest stage of the race. And it all came after three hard days of racing.
Young Sagan was suffering too, dumping water on his head. “Today is very hard day, also the weather is very hot, always on the climb I put on my head the water because it’s very hot, it’s not for me very good.”
He added, “Today I’m not thinking another victory can I do but after the last climb come for me my teammate Daniel Oss, he said today we win another stage. I said I don’t think but after he said this, inside me, I said yes okay, we will try and we did. Now we are very happy and thank you for all my team guys, it’s very good.”
And then he smiled.
That smile and the way Sagan has handled the media pressure and the fans is a complete 180-degree turn from last year where he also won multiple stages. Last year, it was a shy boy that stood in front of the world,all the while speaking through a translator. These past few days, the 22-year old Slovakian has handled all questions from the media with charm and ease, making eye contact and mostly in English. And he has not forgotten the fans, playing up to the crowd on the podium, and interacting while riding at the start area.
Aware of his own talents, Sagan knows that he will lose the yellow leader’s jersey after the time trial today.
“Tomorrow I do bye bye.” he laughed after winning his fourth stage,
But he has not given up on winning another stage, after all he did win his third stage last year on the Big Bear stage.
“Tomorrow I lose this jersey because I don’t time trial. Maybe I try when I feel good the stage on Big Bear but we will see.”
Sagan holds the record of the most wins at the Tour of California, with seven beating Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) by one.
“I like California. I was in New York, Philadelphia, I like America. I also maybe next year I came one time and maybe I win another stage and maybe this is not the record no?” Another laugh.
His success in California combined with all his previous victories which have included three stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana have everyone talking about the possibility. After all, Sagan should be starting his first Tour de France this year.
Is he aware that people are talking about his potential of being a great rider?
Sagan replied, “I’m aware that people are talking like this about me but I try not to listen as I’d rather stay who I am. There are a lot of riders who’ve gone up quickly but who have fallen as well; I’d rather keep climbing.”