Home
Unprecedented hat-trick for Slovak star as he edges out Norway's Alexander Kristoff in Bergen...

Peter Sagan of Slovakia has won the UCI road world championship for an unprecedented third year in a row, just edging out Norway's Alexander Kristoff in a thrilling sprint finish in Bergen.

Sagan is the fifth man to win the title three times, and at the age of 27 few would bet against him becoming the first rider to win the rainbow jersey in the event four times.

The other three-time winners are Italy's Alfredo Binda (1927, 1930 and 1932), Rik Van Steenbergen of Belgium (1949, 1956 and 1957) and his compatriot Eddy Merckx (1967, 1971 and 1974) and Spain's Oscar Freire (1999, 2001 and 2004).

By beating Kristoff to the line by less than half a wheel's width, he denied Kristoff the distinction of being the first rider to win the title on home soil since Italy's Alessandro Ballan in Varese in 2008.

Australia's Michael Matthews finished third from a select group that had reeled in escapees Julien Alaphilippe of France and Italy's Gianni Moscon in the closing kilometres after the pair had attacked on the 12th and final climb of Salmon Hilll.

Also contesting the finish at the conclusion of the 267.5-kilometre were Italy's Matteo Trentin, fourth, and Great Britain's Ben Swift, who was fifth.

Sagan dedicated  his victory to Michele Scarponi, the Italian rider who lost his life earlier this year in a collision involving a van.

The three-time world champion told BBC Sport: "It was not easy, guys were changing in the front all the time," Sagan told the BBC.

"I tried to go with the breakaay and it came down to a sprint, it was unbelievable.

"Kristoff was racing at home so I'm sorry, but of course I'm happy to win.

He said his historic hat-trick "is something special for sure. For me it's something very nice."

Swift said: "Sagan was incredible, I think all of us were trying a couple of moves because it was all over the place, but he did amazing.

"The team was brilliant today, we set out what we wanted to do and everyone rode brilliantly."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

7 comments

Avatar
sizbut [33 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

An absolute master class. He wasn't even mentioned until about 20k to go and that was to say he was 80th. He had the confidence to hide in the peleton, ignore all the breaks and attacks and just wait so that he only had to make one all out effort.

Avatar
don simon [1715 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Carlton Kirby is getting desperate now that he's starting the run in enthisiasm at 20km to go. Every slight move send him into the stratosphere. It's all quite embarrassing.

Well done Peter, and Mrs Peter for the little 'un.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [1150 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

Swifty should be proud with 5th in that esteemed company.

CK is a clown ..."for goodness sake"

Avatar
dottigirl [811 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
sizbut wrote:

An absolute master class. He wasn't even mentioned until about 20k to go and that was to say he was 80th. He had the confidence to hide in the peleton, ignore all the breaks and attacks and just wait so that he only had to make one all out effort.

Yep. That's where the Brits went wrong this weekend: it was nice to see Hannah Barnes and Ben Swift so prolific, but they probably would've got a better result had they not burnt so many matches earlier on.

Avatar
RobD [550 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:
sizbut wrote:

An absolute master class. He wasn't even mentioned until about 20k to go and that was to say he was 80th. He had the confidence to hide in the peleton, ignore all the breaks and attacks and just wait so that he only had to make one all out effort.

Yep. That's where the Brits went wrong this weekend: it was nice to see Hannah Barnes and Ben Swift so prolific, but they probably would've got a better result had they not burnt so many matches earlier on.

I guess that's the big advantage for Sagan, having won it twice already he can afford to risk losing it a little more than those who were desperate to win (I think Kristoff and Matthews were seen at the front a bit when some of the breaks were going) Sagan was a ble to sit and hope it came back together, brilliantly done, and that hiding in the peloton (to the point that people were wondering if he'd been dropped) is a skill onto itself, to be able to handle the bike well enough, move up when needed but not show too early, brilliantly done.

One day he won't actually be world champion and it'll be really odd seeing him in regular team kit again.

Avatar
MarkiMark [57 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

He's a god!

Liking the new trend in curved spokes shown in the finish line photo.

Avatar
dottigirl [811 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
RobD wrote:
dottigirl wrote:
sizbut wrote:

An absolute master class. He wasn't even mentioned until about 20k to go and that was to say he was 80th. He had the confidence to hide in the peleton, ignore all the breaks and attacks and just wait so that he only had to make one all out effort.

Yep. That's where the Brits went wrong this weekend: it was nice to see Hannah Barnes and Ben Swift so prolific, but they probably would've got a better result had they not burnt so many matches earlier on.

I guess that's the big advantage for Sagan, having won it twice already he can afford to risk losing it a little more than those who were desperate to win (I think Kristoff and Matthews were seen at the front a bit when some of the breaks were going) Sagan was a ble to sit and hope it came back together, brilliantly done, and that hiding in the peloton (to the point that people were wondering if he'd been dropped) is a skill onto itself, to be able to handle the bike well enough, move up when needed but not show too early, brilliantly done.

One day he won't actually be world champion and it'll be really odd seeing him in regular team kit again.

Being a lone wolf seems to his advantage - no pressure to stay with any riders or on wheels, not taking part in any fruitless attacks, etc.

I do wonder in whose company he spent most of the day? The cameras didn't pick him up at all.

Speaking of which, anyone know the reason behind the poor coverage? Was it about the motorbikes not giving a leadout, or had the cobbles done for the cameras? I read or heard both.