Paris 2024, This Sunday marks a significant moment in the world of cycling as three-time World Champion Peter Sagan will bid farewell to his illustrious road racing career at the Tour de Vendée. Sagan’s team, TotalEnergies, shared the news on social media. Urging fans to join in paying tribute to the cycling legend with the hashtag #DakujemPeter. The 33-year-old Slovakian announced his decision to retire from professional road racing at the end of this season back in January.
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During a celebration for his birthday, Sagan expressed his decision, stating, “Thank you very much, everyone, for being here on my birthday. And I think you can already guess what I would like to announce tonight. We have my entire group here, and I would like to say that the moment has arrived. I’ve decided that I would like to conclude my last year with World Races as reported by Rouleur. Peter Sagan is renowned for his legendary victories in prestigious races.
Such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. His impressive record includes 18 stage wins in grand tours, with 12 of them achieved at the Tour de France. He also secured the Tour’s green jersey an astonishing seven times. Despite these accolades, Sagan’s true passion has always been mountain biking. At the end of the year, the “Terminator” will conclude his contract with TotalEnergies a year ahead of schedule to return to his beloved mountain biking roots.
Paris 2024: Peter Sagan’s Transition from Road to Mountain Biking and Paris Olympic Ambitions
Reflecting on his journey, Sagan shared, “When I was a junior, I had the opportunity to alternate between mountain biking and road cycling. Later, Liquigas offered me the chance to turn professional on the road. Did I accept immediately? At that time, road cycling was flourishing, making it an easy decision. I thought to myself that if it didn’t work out on the road, I could always return to mountain biking. It turned out to be the right choice.
But mountain biking has always remained my passion. Now, my ultimate challenge is to compete in the Olympic Games in 2024. Looking ahead to Paris 2024, Peter Sagan faces a challenging journey to accumulate the necessary points for qualification. In the lead-up to his retirement, Sagan has seen fewer victories. His most recent win occurred earlier this month at the Wetteren Deny Festival, where he triumphed in a 44-kilometer race.
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He also ventured into cross-country mountain bike racing while continuing to compete on the road. In 2022, he participated in the cross-country World Championships, finishing in 16th place. During this past summer, he once again took part in the World Championships. Securing 37th place in the cross-country short circuit and 63rd place in the cross-country France Olympic heats. Despite these results, Sagan is slated to join the Specialized Mountain Bike factory team roster in 2024.
France Olympic: Ambitions and Preparations Honoring Sagan and MVDP’s Olympic Paris Goals
Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, race organizers have prepared surprises for Sagan. At both the starting and finishing lines. They invite everyone to “come and applaud him for his final appearance as a road cyclist and as part of the TOTAL ENERGIE team. In 2021, Mathieu van der Pole (MVDP), who wore the yellow jersey for six days, left the Tour de France midway to better prepare for the Olympic Paris challenge. However, this strategy didn’t go as planned, partly.
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Due to the unpredictable nature of mountain biking. Where crashes and punctures are inherent risks. Nonetheless, two years later, MVDP remains resolute in his ambition to secure the Olympic title at Elancourt Hill. The Olympic 2024 title remains my goal. It’s going to be a tough challenge, but we were already aware of that before I arrived here and shared the Dutch rider.
His plan for the upcoming year involves participating in more mountain biking events to accumulate additional UCI points. This strategy aims to boost his rankings and secure a better starting position for Paris 2024. The preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games are just getting underway. Following the conclusion of the Volta an Espuma. The athlete allocations for road cycling at the Paris Olympic are beginning to take shape.
Paris 2024: Road Cycling Qualification and Pre-Olympic Test Event
Belgium leads the qualifying nations for men, while the Netherlands leads for women. The top five nations in qualification will secure the maximum allocation of four athlete entries. Notably, the Paris 2024 road races will maintain gender parity. With a total of 180 athletes participating. Additionally, the top 25 countries at the World Championships will earn entries for the individual time trial. The qualification period extends until October 17, 2023.
In a significant pre-Olympic test event, elite cross-country mountain bikers gathered in Paris. This event provided an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the challenging Elancourt Hill course. While also serving as a competitive race. French riders Victor Kratky and Liana Lacoste emerged as the victors. All eyes were on road world champion Mathieu van der Pole. Who aspires to compete in Paris next year following his unfortunate crash in Tokyo?
However, neither Van der Pole nor XCO world champion nor defending Summer Games 2024 gold medalist Tom Pidcock delivered standout performances on Sunday. Van der Pole finished 28th, and Pidcock, recovering from a saddle sore infection, came in 36th. Van der Pole acknowledged that his mountain biking condition has suffered. After a long road season and expressed the need to participate in more mountain bike events next year to enhance his chances in Paris.
Olympic 2024: Notable Performances by Stigger and Ferrand-Prévot
Olympic hopeful and short track world champion Sam Gaze also had a modest showing in the men’s race. Surprisingly, some unexpected names secured spots in the top 10, hinting that the favourites may not have pushed themselves to the limit. Considering two more World Cups remain in the season.
In the women’s race, Loana Lecomte claimed victory, with Laura Stigger and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot following closely in the top 10. The defending Olympic Paris champion finished 22nd, while the standout of 2023, Puck Pie Terse, settled for ninth. While the initial test event may not definitively determine the contenders for next summer. It provided riders and fans with a first look at the Elancourt course, which appears to favour powerful and resilient riders.
Following his completion of the Grand Prix De Wallonie road race in Namur, Belgium, which is renowned for hosting one of the most iconic cyclotrons races globally. Mathieu van der Poel has hinted at the possibility of concluding his road season earlier than initially intended. Speaking to reporters after the race, he expressed his readiness for a well-deserved break. . I really like the course, but if I want a genuine shot at becoming a champion, I need to start at the front. It’s challenging to contend with the leaders in the first two laps.
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