Peter Sagan has vowed not to let his newfound status as world champion go to his head.
On Monday the Slovak was able to show off his new gear for the coming year, posing for a photo shoot in his full world champion’s kit and astride a newly-customised Specialized Tarmac. Yet despite the makeover of kit and equipment, he insists that the rainbow bands change nothing in terms of mentality.
"It’s not about the rainbow jersey or not. It’s not like you have this t-shirt and you are stronger," Sagan told reporters at the official presentation of the 2016 Giro d’Italia in Milan.
"You have to keep training, keep sacrificing your life, and after you can be good. For sure I am proud of this jersey, I can wear it and also I’m very happy with the race. But I will keep fighting for the best results that I can do."
It is not yet known whether Sagan will ride next year’s Giro but as one of the star guests of the presentation he had a good glimpse of what’s in store next May. That said, the 25-year-old, despite joking that he fancied a bid for the maglia rosa, revealed that he never looks closely at the route book to target certain stages. And with good reason – there are few stages that do not suit the rider who has established himself as the most impressive all-round talents in the sport.
"Yeah I saw all the stages. If I decide to go to the Giro maybe I can go for general classification... I’m just joking, super joking!" said Sagan.
"I am still in the season. The Giro is far away from now – I won’t think about that until after I’ve had a rest. I haven’t yet seen [the stages] yet very well. It’s not a good time for seeing the stages, I never saw before the Tour de France the stages, and I am not very interested in stages. It’s important how I feel - if I feel good a lot of stages can be for me."
Sagan is set to race the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour this week before looking ahead to a well-earned winter break and setting out his goals for his season in the rainbow jersey.