Following a breakthrough season in 2012, Peter Sagan says he is ready to assume leadership of the newly titled Cannondale Pro Cycling team next year. And after a string of near misses last spring, the Slovakian is determined to make his mark on the Classics in 2013.
Asked if he felt extra pressure going into next season, following several high profile departures from this season’s Liquigas squad, the 22-year-old sounded bullish. ”I'm not scared of responsibility,” he told Cycling News HD.
“I'm still learning but I think I've earned my position. I'm not worried about being a team leader or being under pressure to get results. They're the easy part of cycling. The hard part is actually winning, no?
”It's a pity that Vincenzo left,” he continued, referring to Vincenzo Nibali’s transfer to Astana, “because we get on really well, but I respect his decision and we've still got a strong team. I'm sure we'll be good in 2013. Ivan Basso is a role model for us all and then Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and Fabio Sabatini are pretty good in sprints. We can all get results.”
Despite talk after his dominant green jersey display at the Tour de France of Sagan slimming down to become a GC contender in the future, the rider insisted that for now he has unfinished business with the spring Classics, races where he already has the attributes to be successful.
"I was fourth in Milan-Sanremo, second in Gent-Wevelgem, fifth at the Tour of Flanders and third at Amstel Gold," he recalled.
"It's true I didn’t win but they're not bad results for my second full spring campaign. The classics are more complicated than other races, experience counts a lot and I'm happy to admit I made mistakes. I also learnt a lot. Now I know the routes more, and know when and how to position myself better in the key moments. I won't make the same mistakes again."
Cycling News HD
The full interview with Peter Sagan appears in issue 29 of our digital magazine Cycling News HD, out now, and is just one example of what you can find inside. Elsewhere in the issue we continue our review of the year with the season’s biggest race, the Tour de France, with in-depth analysis and stunning photography of the key moments over the three weeks. Chris Froome, who served as Bradley Wiggins’ right-hand man, talks exclusively about his best season to date: “I knew my form was at the best I’ve ever had it. I was ready to go to the Tour and really go for it in the high mountains.” We also have the second of our guest columns with Sean Kelly. The seven-time Paris-Nice winner thinks the 2012 route may have been a little one-sided: “For Bradley Wiggins this year’s Tour route had a good balance, but for the race itself I don’t think it was the best choice.” Kelly’s first column on the Giro d’Italia was featured in Issue 28.
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