How to Handle a Bike.. Peter Sagan style

Cambrai - Tour de France, étape 4, 7 juillet 2015, arrivée (B36) (cropped).JPG

Peter Sagan (born 26 January 1990) is a Slovak professional road bicycle racer for World Tour team Tinkoff-Saxo.[3] Sagan had a successful junior cyclo-cross and mountain bike racing career, winning the Junior World Championship in 2008, before moving to road racing.

Sagan is considered one of cycling’s most promising young talents, having earned many prestigious victories in his early twenties.[4] Supporting this view are victories in: two Paris–Nice stages, three Tirreno–Adriatico stages, one in the Tour de Romandie, two and the overall classification in the Tour de Pologne, a record thirteen in the Tour of California,[5] and eleven in the Tour de Suisse. He has won seven stages in Grand Tours: three in the Vuelta a España and four in the Tour de France. He was also the winner of the points classification in the Tour de France, in 2012, 2013 and 2014; as a result, Sagan became the second rider to win the classification in his first three attempts, after Freddy Maertens.


Bike Handling Sagan style….

Sagan w road furniture Sagan slaloming swerving Sagan one hand wheelie Sagan skids Sagan drifts through a corner Sagan bunny hops up stairs

Why have handling skills?  You never know when it will come in handy… when a pothole, a slick piece of road, or a spectator steps out and needs to be avoided, preventing a crash, allowing the athlete to remain in the competition unscathed.
Sagan saves it in a corner2
Besides who doesn’t want to be able to do a no-hand wheelie?
sagan no hand wheelie
Peter Sagan has used his bike handling skills to carve tighter lines through crit style finishes of Tour stages which wind through narrow streets of old European towns, moving himself up in position, putting time on the competition, and to win the stage.  He has used his sprinting and finishing technique to lunge across finish lines placing his front wheel ahead to claim victory.

Although the ability to do a no hand wheelie may seem irrelevant, the fact is that this ability reveals the core strength, balance, technique, and form which pro riders need and depend on to ride shoulder to shoulder in the peloton, to avoid crashes or minimize their effect, when descending and cornering at high speeds during TTs and mountain stages, and while riding through cross winds and on the cobblestones of the spring classics.

As competition stiffens across all sports, being able to hold the pace with the leaders becomes only one aspect and winning depends on being the complete athlete: one who can hold the pace, retain enough in the tank to seize the opportunity to edge out rivals when critical moments arise and have the skills to do so.  Developing better bike handling skills will allow athletes to ride more efficiently providing them that spare capacity needed to deliver consistent peak performances.

5 thoughts on “How to Handle a Bike.. Peter Sagan style

  1. MGrodski Post author

    July 20, 2015
    By: Gregor Brown
    Published in

    “Sagan second again after hair-raising descent”

    Excerpt from the article:
    Sagan, who is known for his wheelies and bunny-hops, can descend faster than most in the peloton. Colombian Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) tried to stay with him on the nine-kilometer decent, but was distanced midway down.

    ‘The Saganator’ turned the descent into his own personal playground. He squeezed every possible inch out of every corner, and nearly overcooked some, to keep his speed high and to close on Plaza. He went from nearly one minute back to around 30 seconds, but could not gain more before the road flattened.

    “I knew the descent from two years ago and from seeing it on television with the Beloki crash,” Sagan said.

    “I was again very close. I tried, and I went full gas on the descent, I took some risks also, but it was not enough to win the stage.”

    Read the full article here.

  2. MGrodski Post author

    Youtube: Peter Sagan puts on a clinic during the 2014 Tour of Oman

    Points in video:
    1. From 1:12 – Sagan shows how to achieve a tuck position which allows him to not have to pedal, saving incredible amounts of energy as compared to all those in his pursuit. In addition, he is not only saving energy, he is putting time on his pursuers… all because of exceptional bike handling skills. The outcome: he is in position to get into a 3 man break away only a few kilometers away from the finish line.

    2. From 2:20 – Sagan shows how to pair bike handling skills with knowledge of the bike course to pick a shorter line around a round-about putting 20m on Nibali and Uran forcing both of them to have to put in a strong acceleration to keep up with Sagan, further draining their legs of any reserves for a sprint into the finish line.

    3. From 3:25 – Sagan shows how much he has left in the tank as he weaves back and forth across the road unwilling to take anyone with him to the finish line. Sagan is just that much fresher coming into the final 300m that he doesn’t have to even sprint head to head with anyone to take the win.

    Brilliant. Why battle hard, when battling smart gives you the win today and sets you up to be ready to race tomorrow?

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