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Peter Sagan ramps up for Tour de France at Utah high-altitude camp

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 26 Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Team Total Energies during the team presentation prior to the 77th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2022 Mens Race a 2042km race from Ghent to Ninove OHN22 FlandersClassic WorldTour on February 26 2022 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) (Image credit: Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images)

After a disappointing start to his time at new team TotalEnergies, Peter Sagan has headed to a high-altitude training camp in Utah as he seeks to rediscover his top form ahead of July's Tour de France.

So far in 2022, Sagan has raced the spring Classics through Gent-Wevelgem, taking fifth at Milan-San Remo along the way, but hasn't raced since withdrawing from the second stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe in early April.

His coach at TotalEnergies, Jens Van Beylen, has said that Sagan has been suffering from long COVID this spring, having caught the virus for a second time back in January. The three-time world champion has suffered several illnesses since, including a fever and stomach problems in March.

"Peter felt tired. He had pain in his legs after training and after races. He had never felt that," Van Beylen told Het Laatste Nieuws (opens in new tab). "We did a whole series of tests, but we couldn't find a specific cause for his problems.

"We decided that Peter was still feeling the aftermath of a COVID-19 infection in late December and early January. Call it a post-COVID syndrome."

Sagan has undergone a "complete reset" since last racing, Van Beylen said, adding that he had been able to go on holiday with his son Marlon.

Now, Sagan is in Utah, taking in a training camp along with TotalEnergies teammate Daniel Oss. The pair have been out in Utah since May 12, with the camp running until June 5. It's a key part of his build-up to the Tour de France, where he'll seek a record eighth green points jersey.

"It's a training camp according to the principle 'live high, train high'," Van Beylen said. "He lives at 2,200 metres and that's the lowest point there. He knows the area and has been there before.

"He's a big mountain bike fan and has found some MTB tracks there. It's a welcome variation in his training and a good way to adapt to the altitude.

"The intensity will increase in the coming weeks. The signs are promising. But of course, we'll have to make reservations for how he will perform in races again with tempo changes and high intensity."

Sagan will make his racing return in Switzerland shortly after the end of his training camp. He'll make his comeback at the one-day GP Kantons Aargau on June 10 before heading to the Tour de Suisse two days later.

With 17 stage victories at the race, Sagan is the overall record holder for wins in Switzerland, and he'll be hoping to add more next month as he ramps up for the Tour de France.

"The goal for him is to perform to his maximum again," Van Beylen said. "He's a newcomer in the team and he hasn't been able to prove himself or make his mark yet. That has caused him frustration, more so than for us. There is no pressure from us.

"I am convinced that Peter can still do that," he added, referring to winning the green jersey once again. "He's incredibly ambitious. He has a lot of perseverance to achieve what he wants to achieve.

"If he can train at 100% again, he will be competing for the green jersey. The hunger is still very big – he still wants to show something."

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Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.


Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.