THREE-PETE: Peter Sagan Three Time World Champion

An unprecedented performance on Sunday by the 27-year-old Slovakian who became the first rider ever win three times in a row in the Elite Men’s World Championships Road Race. Sagan captured his third UCI World Championships gold medal in a row by narrowly outsprinting Alexander Kristoff (Norway) in Bergen’s Festplassen street. The duo outdistanced Australia’s Michael Matthews, who took the bronze, by several bike lengths.

The Slovakian had flown well under the radar prior to the final bunch sprint of 26 riders that decided the 267.5 kilometre 2017 Elite Men’s road race. But when it counted and Kristoff charged away, Sagan quickly powered round him, finally beating the Norwegian by around a quarter of a wheel.
Sagan has thus become the fifth rider in history, together with Alfredo Binda, Rik Van Steenbergen, Eddy Merckx and Oscar Freire, to equal the jointly held record of three men’s World Championships road titles. But Sagan is the first to do so on three successive years.

"I want to dedicate this to [the late] Michele Scarponi” - the former Giro d’Italia winner who died in a training accident this April - “because he would have had a birthday tomorrow. It was a very sad story this year,” Sagan said afterwards. “Secondly I want to dedicate this victory to my wife, we are expecting a baby. It’s a very nice end of the season, and I’m very happy.”

As for his making cycling history, Sagan commented, “It’s something special for sure. It doesn’t change anything, but for me it’s something very nice.”

Sagan pointed out that although the race had come down to a bunch sprint, his third win had been anything but straightforward. As close as five kilometres from the finish, in fact, Sagan still thought that the race would be won by a breakaway group.

The skinsuit worn by Sagan and his Team Slovakia team mates were all designed and made in Italy by Santini to the exact specifications of the riders. Santini has been the official technical supplier of Team Slovakia Cycling since 2015.

“In the end, it came to a sprint and it was unbelievable. Kristoff is racing at home [in Norway], and I’m sorry for that, but I’m happy to win again.”

"It’s very hard to say, you saw in the climb we were already in three groups or more. There was a breakaway, and afterwards in just a few seconds, it all came together in the finish. You couldn’t predict it.”