Peter Sagan revealed he improvised a different tactic in the finale of stage five at Paris-Nice than what his Liquigas-Doimo team had planned for him. "I was told I would be able to win a sprint finish today," the 20-year-old Slovakian said after claiming his second stage win in "the race to the sun". "I didn't know the uphill finish was so hard.
"When I saw a gap behind me with 1.5km to go, I decided to go full gas because I was feeling good and there was nobody on my wheel. I'm very happy to have won a second time at Paris-Nice. This is of course more than I expected."
Asked if he was prepared for attending the winner's press conference again on Saturday and Sunday, he proved to be a very humble young champion. "It's probably gonna be harder for me in the next two days because the hills are more difficult than today's," he said. "I've realized yesterday that a 3km climb is too hard for me for now. I'm still very young. I'm not strong enough to follow Alberto Contador. I prefer the climbs that are very steep but not too long. Maybe this is my true speciality although I don't know yet what I'll be the best at in the future."
His roommate Frederik Willems mentioned that he'd love to do well again in Paris-Roubaix, a race he finished in second place in the junior ranks. "I'm not going to do it this year," Sagan said. "I'll be riding the prologue of the Tour of Turkey that day in Istanbul."
He also ruled out the possibility of starting Milano-Sanremo next week - a race Eddy Merckx won for the first time at the same age of 20 in 1966. "I would like to do it but I only want to think of Paris-Nice for now, after that I'll have three free weeks and I'll go home to Slovakia. I do whatever my team says, I don't do what I want to do. I have time. I'm not in a hurry."
He's over the moon as his friends and family back home see him winning on the roads of Paris-Nice as they watch the live coverage on Eurosport. "After my first stage win, three TV channels visited my hometown (Zilina) to interview my dad. Everybody is happy there. Slovakia lives with cycling now, although we've only three cyclists in the ProTour: the Velits brothers and myself." His brother Juraj, who is one year older than him, is also in France now as he joined the team Albert Bigot in the west of the country for the new amateur season.
Sagan remains focused on Paris-Nice. "Now the team rides for me and Roman [Kreuziger], more for Roman than for me actually," he said. "We still believe he can win Paris-Nice. The last two stages are long and hard."