World champion Peter Sagan has called for more respect within the peloton in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad having been awarded the International Flandrien of the year prize at the annual ceremony. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider also explained that his speech following the World Championships has been 'misunderstood' and that he 'hates technology'.
Sagan, who told Cyclingnews last week that embraces the role as the peloton's spokesman, made the comments to the Belgian newspaper on a balcony at the Ostende Casino.
"For sure there is some responsibility [that comes] with this jersey," Sagan said of the rainbow jersey he won last month. "I want to do my best next year but also maybe I want to change something in cycling because of lot of things are OK but a lot of things don't work.
Sagan didn't specify what particularly wasn't working well in cycling but he was one of two Tinkoff-Saxo rider's to be involved in accidents involving race motos at the Vuelta a Espana. Sagan was knocked off his bike on the flat open run in in the final kilometres of stage 8 and was forced to withdraw from the race the following day with second degree burns and explained changes are need to prevent future incidents.
Sagan's boss, Tinkoff-Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov has also expressed his views on issues with how the sport is currently being run and how it can be improved.
However Sagan did specify that having spoken with some of the more experienced riders in the peloton, he feels the new younger generation of riders are too care free.
"I want in the group maybe more respect as well OK," he said. "The respect in the group is like nothing. If I speak with the old guys [asking] when Cipollini was in the group or somebody like that, there was lots of respect in the group. Now it's like, 'if you don't brake, I don't brake' and we crash. It's very bad mentally in the group now.
"If I can change this, I don't know, it's a big step."
The 25-year-old was also asked about his comments after he won the World Championships in Richmond last month when he mentioned the European refugee crisis and "problems in the world we have to change". Sagan clarified his statements, explaining that he was "speaking about general problem of the world. People are not thinking about what they want from life."
Adding that smartphones and and social media are part of the problem and he can't stand modern technology.
"Electronics and technology is growing very fast and the people cannot follow that," he said. "Children don't play outside anymore but are writing messages to other children. It is very strange. OK, maybe I am old school or something but what can I say? I hate technology. It is just losing time.
"When you see the children now or the people, six people are writing messages and the life is passing [by] no?
Sagan also mentioned his 2013 Tour of Flanders podium incident when he grabbed the derrière of Maja Leye with a message for the podium hostess that "now I have a girlfriend and you don't have to be worried if I do same mistake because now I am serious."
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