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What's it gonna take for Sagan?

Old 08-14-20, 07:05 PM
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one4smoke
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What's it gonna take for Sagan?

What's it gonna take for Sagan to win again?

It pains me to say, but I think he's lost a step lately either due to age, lack of training with the chaotic schedule, or various other things. I really don't think he can win a bunch sprint with the speedsters like Ewan, Viviani, Bennett, or Ackermann anymore, as he consistently places in the 4th to 10th range. He seems to now struggle with the rolling routes with some or moderate climbing, which he used to excel in. The routes that were too tough for sprinters, yet too fast for climbers.

So, what's it gonna take? Maybe risks with some well calculated surprise attacks? The perfect type route and favorites having bad luck? Or will he find his former form again?

Will he win again?
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Old 08-14-20, 10:09 PM
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a bit of a dry spell for sagan currently. hard to accurately gauge a lack of results this year tho with the veteran riders having their established regimens/training/racing interrupted, changed, canceled, etc.
but yeah, it just doesn't seem to be coming as easily for him as it did a few years ago. i don't think it's to the point yet where he reinvents himself la lauren jalabert who went from sprinter to consistently challenging
for the mountain classifications in the gt's.
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Old 08-15-20, 05:07 AM
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He will be just fine.
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Old 08-15-20, 06:22 AM
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Seems like everyone's struggling. For Sagan I wonder if he's been more focused on a GC win for the Giro or something?

I think I'll call it right now that Wout will win the sprint jersey at TdF. Tough career to have for these guys, you're on top till the next power house comes along. Best course is to leverage their experience and guile to stay relevant? I don't think I'd have ever wanted to be a super star, but I thought it would be cool to make a long career riding. Some of those guys retire at 40, at 33 and feeling swamped with life I can't imagine putting in the work required to stay relevant against 20yo on a world tour team!

Of course maybe it's all just a blip? But there are warnings that coronavirus can cause permanent damage to the body. I think right now we're seeing who had the virus and who hasn't.
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Old 08-15-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Seems like everyone's struggling. For Sagan I wonder if he's been more focused on a GC win for the Giro or something?

I think I'll call it right now that Wout will win the sprint jersey at TdF. Tough career to have for these guys, you're on top till the next power house comes along. Best course is to leverage their experience and guile to stay relevant? I don't think I'd have ever wanted to be a super star, but I thought it would be cool to make a long career riding. Some of those guys retire at 40, at 33 and feeling swamped with life I can't imagine putting in the work required to stay relevant against 20yo on a world tour team!

Of course maybe it's all just a blip? But there are warnings that coronavirus can cause permanent damage to the body. I think right now we're seeing who had the virus and who hasn't.
I agree on the van Aert prediction. He'll probably also win most of the Classics he enters including Roubaix. I had thought van der Poel would be the favorite, but he's not living up to the hype (yet), and van Aert is on fire.

Yeah, with the success Sagan has had, it's hard to imagine he has the same gritty determination and dedication he once had. I can't imagine the grind it must take being a pro cyclist. But, who knows. Sagan is a one-of-a-kind athlete. It wouldn't surprise me for him to again be as dominant as he was. But how, is the question...
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Old 08-16-20, 12:47 AM
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Sagan has said racing has changed in his relatively short career, with younger cyclists who are more reckless, push harder every moment of every race, making it tougher to read the peloton and stay competitive without risking unnecessary injuries.

While he has another shot at the green jersey, the only way he could hope for yellow in the TdF is to lose weight, get a really strong support team and change tactics. Probably not realistic.

At this point in his career with his strengths he could dominate the classics if he wanted to. He has the right physique and strengths.

Tough to say much of anything about most careers in 2020, with the pandemic turning everything upside down. This is probably just a treading-water year for Sagan and some other veterans.
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Old 08-16-20, 09:35 AM
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I don't think the Dauphine with it's mountain finishes are the place to expect Sagan to shine. I'd imagine he's just seeing what the others have and don't have, before the events that have the type route and profile he can use to his advantage.

He has seemed like he's more out to enjoy the ride more so than to enjoy the competition this season and even last season.
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Old 09-02-20, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by csuperbike View Post
He will be just fine.
I hope you're right, but so far in the Tour, he's not quite the Sagan were used to seeing. To win a stage or the Green this year ...he's got his work cut out for him.
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Old 09-03-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Seems like everyone's struggling. For Sagan I wonder if he's been more focused on a GC win for the Giro or something?
No. He's the best-paid guy in the peloton and his job is to be in front of the cameras at the event that has, by far, the most viewership. Also, he never has and never will be a GC contender. Look at the time he loses on mountain stages.

Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I think I'll call it right now that Wout will win the sprint jersey at TdF. Tough career to have for these guys, you're on top till the next power house comes along. Best course is to leverage their experience and guile to stay relevant?
I think his days in the sun are either over or limited. To be that dominant in such a tough sport is really hard and can't last long. Fortunately, he's rich, famous, and charismatic and will have lots of opportunities for endorsements, branding, and celebrity spokesmodel work.
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Old 09-03-20, 06:28 PM
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Sagan is neither a pure sprinter or a pure climber. He can do both very well, but it takes an ideal situation of these components for him to win.
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Old 09-03-20, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hrdknox1 View Post
Sagan is neither a pure sprinter or a pure climber. He can do both very well, but it takes an ideal situation of these components for him to win.
Well, true, but Sagan definitely leans toward the sprint side more. Alaphilippe is an all rounder too, but by comparison he leans toward the climber side more.
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Old 09-06-20, 06:12 PM
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Sagan isn't looking the same as he has in previous tours, just doesn't seem to have it. At this point, I think his only chance to win the Green is for covid to shut down the Tour during the covid tests over the rest day tomorrow. Rumor has it, if they get a certain number of positives, whatever that is, they'll stop the tour and the official results will be what they are now.

I hope I'm wrong about Sagan and he finds his legs.


.
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Old 09-07-20, 08:58 AM
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^^^^^ I see another path to Green for Sagan. According to Johan Bruyneel, if just two people from one team tests positive for covid, then that team is out; it's not an ASO rule, it's a French Govt rule.

If Sam Bennet's team is kicked out of the Tour, Sagan has a real chance.

See clip starting at ~13:30

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Old 09-08-20, 03:20 PM
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Sagan got third today, but he actually looked pretty good and he lost to two very good pure sprinters, unlike in previous stages where he was much further down than he should have been. Maybe this is him starting to come back into form....
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Old 09-09-20, 04:26 PM
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Sagan was looking really good today, until he head-butted Wout Van Aert and got relegated to the rear, but it does seem his form is coming back.
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Old 09-15-20, 02:04 PM
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The way I understand it is Sagan decided to ride the Tour at the last minute. He signed a big contract to ride the Giro and then decided to jump into the Tour to the surprise of many. That may explain why he hasn't been on form. He's only 30, which is right in the middle of his prime years, so I think if this year had been a normal year he'd be dominating.

It's good to see him contesting green still. He could have easily given up after the relegation. He's a warrior.
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Old 09-21-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Rotten Bastard View Post
The way I understand it is Sagan decided to ride the Tour at the last minute. He signed a big contract to ride the Giro and then decided to jump into the Tour to the surprise of many. That may explain why he hasn't been on form. He's only 30, which is right in the middle of his prime years, so I think if this year had been a normal year he'd be dominating.

It's good to see him contesting green still. He could have easily given up after the relegation. He's a warrior.
I'd say him losing the green is only going to make him mentally tougher and more determined.

If I had to guess, I'd say he may have gotten into that superstar status mode where outside distractions take away some of the commitment it takes to be on top of one's game.

As Sagan says ..."we'll see."
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Old 09-21-20, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rotten Bastard View Post
He's only 30, which is right in the middle of his prime years, so I think if this year had been a normal year he'd be dominating.
The thing about sprinters -- or positions in other sports that rely heavily on fast twitch fibers and high NM force -- is that the prime years seem to be shorter lived and fall off earlier (and more dramatically) than folks in other positions. Someone like Horner or Voight might just be hitting their form by this point, with a decade of strong effort left in them. Even though PS isn't a "pure sprinter," a fast, powerful kick is still how he earns his money. I agree that at 30, he's not washed up yet, but I'd be surprised if his prime performance years last more than a couple more seasons, assuming 2020 -- so far -- is a reparable anomaly.

Also, as others have said in various pre-tour predictions, the stages in this Tour didn't especially play to Sagan's tactics, although I think he would have walked away without green, regardless. He was neither the best sprinter nor best "semi-sprinter" this year. Hope to see him in better form going forward. He's a joy to watch when at his best.

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Old 09-21-20, 02:41 PM
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Sagan lost the Green jersey by almost 100 points to a younger man of 29. No it hasn't anything to do with his age, he's just not as good as he used to be, for now at least.

Great to see Bennett win two stages and the Green jersey against his former team.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:02 AM
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I was a little puzzled by Sagan during this TdF. Not to take anything away from Bennett or Ewan, who simply had better tactics and kicks on some stages.

But a few times it looked to me like Sagan sat up and eased up just short of the line and let the opponent go. It's hard to read or second guess him. Maybe he knew he didn't have the kick and didn't want to waste energy, or had some other strategy. But a few times (after losing points to being relegated) it sure looked like he wasn't really trying despite being within range.
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Old 09-23-20, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I was a little puzzled by Sagan during this TdF. Not to take anything away from Bennett or Ewan, who simply had better tactics and kicks on some stages.

But a few times it looked to me like Sagan sat up and eased up just short of the line and letthe opponent go. It's hard to read or second guess him. Maybe he knew he didn't have the kick and didn't want to waste energy, or had some other strategy. But a few times (after losing points to being relegated) it sure looked like he wasn't really trying despite being within range.
There's a fine line between winning and coming 2nd or 3rd and Sagan's the wrong side of that line for now. He's perfectly aware of this and knows it isn't something that can be put right by just racing full gas to every sprint line.

He saw he wasn't going to be able to make up the points gap for the Green Jersey so it was noticeable in the last week that he wasn't fully committed in the intermediate sprints.

Having said all that he still managed a very creditable 3rd in Paris and I think he will be back to winning again in the not too distant future.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:38 AM
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I think he simply didn't have his regular form coming into this year's TdF. Why, I have no idea, but we'll just have to see how he performs next year. He did seem to start slowly improving, especially on the day he was relegated he looked good and even beat Bennett that day...but then he lost it all and I believe it was just too much to recover from, but he did give it an effort.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:10 AM
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He probably figured that he might as well save up for the Giro.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:37 AM
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It will be interesting to see how he performs in the Giro, but you gotta balance that with the competitors he's up against.
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Old 09-23-20, 11:09 AM
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The make-up of this TdF really did not suit Sagan. In previous, Tours he's locked up the green jersey by securing intermediate sprint points that were guarded by Cat climbs. The heavy climbing focus of this tour meant that the sprint points were mostly before the climbs, so there was no way to drop the traditional sprinters. Stage 7 had a more traditional layout, and Bora dropped Bennet and secured a ton of points (before the relegation), but that wasn't an option on most stages.
Also, Sagan is a marked man. They were NOT going to let him get into a breakway so he could get sprint points. In the past, he's had more margin.

That said, Sagan looked out of practice, especially early on. He was constantly picking the wrong wheel, not finding clean lines, etc. He's usually a master of that. I think the COVID restrictions really effected his TdF preparations, but the stage layout was much more suited to a traditional sprinter than in previous years.

Oh, and Wout Van Aert could absolutely own the green jersey for the next several years if he wanted. Phenomenal tour for him. He was in the mix on the sprints, and crushing it in the mountains.
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