Daniel Friebe wonders just how big a talent we are witnessing the birth of at this year’s Tour de France, and decides the sky is the limit…
There are few things in sport more thrilling than watching an era-defining talent bludgeon its way into the public consciousness. It happened in the 2008 Tour de France, when Mark Cavendish rocketed across the line in Chateauroux with legs and arms whirring and experts hailing the arrival of a new sprint king.
Exactly 15 years earlier, another buccaneering young star, Lance Armstrong, had provoked a similar epiphany with his first Tour stage win in Verdun.
Armstrong was two months short of his 22nd birthday then. Peter Sagan is older - by nine months – but his almost insultingly brilliant stage win on his second day as a Tour de France rider on Sunday prompted immediate comparisons with the American. That he then followed it up with another on stage 3 just added to the furore.
Even the Liquigas staff couldn't help themselves: the team physiologist Paolo Slongo claimed that, with a bit of work and weight loss, Sagan might one day be contending for victory in major tours.
Is that realistic? Who can say? For now, for sure, we know that Sagan is the most prodigious young thing out there, and a probable dominator of Classics for the next three or four years. His coup de grâce on Sunday rendered superlatives as inadequate as the rivals who floundered on his wheel…
An extended version of this piece is just one example of what you can find inside our new digital magazine, Cyclingnews HD. Delivered to your iPad every Wednesday, Cyclingnews HD brings you the best all-new cycling photography in the world via the best medium for viewing it, as well as reports, results and exclusive analysis of all the week’s biggest races, in-depth previews of the races and stages to watch in the week ahead, interviews, news and opinion.
With over 50 pages packed with new and original content every Wednesday, alongside all the latest reports and results, Cyclingnews HD is the best way to enjoy a roadside seat at all the season’s biggest and best races.
Cyclingnews HD - delivered to your iPad every Wednesday. Try it today for just 69p/$0/99 - cyclingnews.com/hd
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.