Slovakia’s Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) could be the next big thing in cycling and he is aiming to win a stage – or two – at this week’s Amgen Tour of California. The 20-year-old neo-professional is soaking up as much experience as he can before his season target, the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Championships in September in Melbourne, Australia.
“The Tour of California is obviously really important for us and I prepared specifically for this race to show up and do well here,” Sagan told Cyclingnews. “But I really don’t know how I will do here. I might not do anything or I might win a stage or two.
“I will see how it goes,” he added. “I show up to every race not knowing what will happen and look how I did in the Tour of Romandie.”
Sagan is no stranger to winning bike races having won the UCI Junior Mountain Bike World Championships in 2008 and placed second at the Cyclo-cross World Championships that same year. “I’ve always won races,” Sagan said. “As a junior and an under-23 rider, I have always won.
“Before I thought I was a mountain biker and when I got the opportunity to go to Liquigas I saw my future was in road racing,” Sagan said. “When you go to a ProTour team you don’t mess around with mountain bike or 'cross.”
Sagan signed his first ProTour contract with the Italian-based Liquigas-Doimo squad for the 2010 season, and currently lives in Veneto, Italy. He caught the cycling world’s attention when he blasted to two stage wins at Paris-Nice. His success continued at the Tour de Romandie where he captured second place in the opening prologue, one stage win and another second place, to top off a successful stage race.
“I didn’t expect to be able to win stages of a race like Paris-Nice,” Sagan said. “I’ve already won three ProTour stages and this season is long but I hope to race to win the World Championships in Australia.”