Peter Sagan has no current plans to recon the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, insisting that little can be gained from riding the course unless there are full road closures and riders are under race conditions.
Sagan has history in taking little to no interest in previews Worlds courses, despite winning three straight titles between 2015 and 2017. His three-year reign as world champion was eventually ended with Alejandro Valverde's victory in Innsbruck in 2018.
Sagan's first world title came in Richmond, USA in 2015 with a late attack. The Slovak then followed that up with sprint wins in Doha, Qatar in 2016 and Bergen, Norway in 2017.
"Richmond I saw two days before but I did just one lap," he told Cyclingnews at Bora-Hansroghe's recent training camp.
"In Doha I saw only one lap of the city circuit but I didn't see the sections before. Everyone knew when the crosswind sections were going to be. Then in Bergen I didn't see the route until we started racing. That was my first time on the course.
"I don't think I'll go there [Yorkshire - ed] just to see the course. Maybe I'll send someone but you can see the course from just looking at the profile and if you want to know when to turn left or right, then you can really only see it properly when you're in the race. You're not going to see much from just training because of the traffic; you'll have to stop for lights; and you'll forget all the details. You're not doing it at the right speed, so really you don't get to understand the circuit. In my opinion it just doesn't work. You'll learn all the important points from the very first circuit of the actual race."
Sagan has already announced his provisional race programme for 2019, up until the Tour de France. His aim at this stage is to carry his Classics form until Liège-Bastogne-Liège, although it's likely that he will skip La Flèche Wallonne.
Bora have the enviable but difficult task of balancing the aims and aspirations of three sprinters: Sagan, Sam Bennett and Pascal Ackermann. While Sagan has the palmares to pick and choose his objectives, the remaining sprinters have been split between the rest of the calendar with Bennett disappointed to miss out on a spot at the Giro in favour of Ackermann. Bennett won three stages at the Italian Grand Tour in 2018.
Sagan praised both of his teammates and added that the Giro was in his plans for the future.
"My races are the same, Pascal is going to grow for sure. He's going to have more experience and take on different races. He'll do a Grand Tour, and that's good for him. Sam is a rider who has won a lot, he has experience and he's a Bora winner. For next year, I will not do the Giro. I want to do it one day before I finish my career but I still don't know when that will be."
The three-time world champion also put to bed any talk of retirement at this stage. Quotes from another European interview resurfaced in early December and indicated that an early retirement had been considered. Unfortunately for Sagan's rivals there's no chance of that happening anytime soon.
"If I want to finish my career then I'm going to feel it inside. It might be because I'm scared, because I'm maybe crashing a lot, or if I'm winning still. Maybe I'll lose something but not now. Now I don't think about anything like that."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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