Peter Sagan is enjoying a break from road racing after his successful cobbled Classics campaign with his Tinkoff team, but he continues to make headlines thanks to the Slovakian post office creating a special stamp to celebrate his victory in the world road race championships in Richmond.
On Sunday, Sagan will also compete in a mountain bike race in Graz, Austria, and then a second race in the Czech Republic on April 30, as he returns to his mountain bike roots. In May, he will head to the USA to ride the Tour of California before focusing on his preparation for the Tour de France and targeting a fifth green points jersey.
The Slovakian post office unveiled the commemorative stamp on Thursday morning at a special event in Sagan’s hometown of Ziline. A run of 300,000 stamps will be made as part of the collectable limited edition stamp. A special post card has also been produced, which has a cartoon design showing Sagan’s development as a boy, his successes in road races and the moment he won the world title and then bit his medal on the podium. The stamp can be purchased via the Slovakian post office philately website (www.pofis.sk).
Sagan attended the official presentation of the stamp as he prepared for Sunday’s mountain bike race. He will ride the Grazer Bike-Opening Stattegg race in Austria this weekend before heading to the Czech Republic for the Czech Strabag MTB cup on April 30.
There have been reports that the two mountain bike races could be part of a plan for Sagan to ride the mountain bike cross country race at the Rio Olympics in August. Sagan won the junior world mountain title in 2009 but has not competed in mountain bike events at an international level since switching to road racing and turning professional.
However, Sagan’s entourage played down the reports that he could race off road at the Rio Olympics but also refused to rule out the idea. Sagan saw the road race and time trial courses in Rio in January, and realised they are too hilly for him and more suited to Grand Tour contenders and climbers. Riding the cross country mountain bike event could be an alternative way for Sagan to compete in the Rio Olympics and represent Slovakia. However, the UCI will only confirm the final allocation of places in the Olympic mountain bike races at the end of May.
For now, it seems Sagan just wants to mix up his racing and compete in some mountain bike events for sponsor Specialized as he takes a break from road racing.