Peter Sagan, mountain bike, 2016, Park City, Utah. Photo: Robbie Stout.
  • Nitro

    No doubt that this will have negative ripples (He’s just doing this for fun / did he take the MTB spot from someone who deserved it more / why is he allowed to do this when he’s unlikely a medal chance on the MTB etc etc), but I think (hope) this is also an opportunity to trigger some positive ripples around the pond of what is the cycling world.

    I know I for one will likely now show more interest in the MTB event at the Olympics, and I am sure others will too – just to see how things go when someone “Crosses back to the other side”…

    Surely that cant be a bad thing.

    • Dave

      I agree that this is mostly a good thing. The results of the ‘better’ MTB guys from Slovakia don’t inspire any confidence, so it’s far from unreasonable for the selection panel to have the view that a gamble with Sagan is more likely to get a higher result.

      Every other discipline of cycling is currently the poorer cousin of road (Caroline Buchanan winning a UCI World Championship last week shamefully didn’t even merit a single line in the CyclingTips Daily Digest) and it’s a good thing for pro road cyclists to be raising the profile of the other disciplines.

      At some point it does need to be questioned as to whether the road race and individual time trial really are appropriate cycling events for the Olympics when road does not need the free kick of exposure at the Olympics. Those road events have massive fields, large enough that they could be distributed across track, MTB and BMX to create as many as ten new events (Madison, Points Race and Time Trial on the track, MTB Downhill, BMX Time Trial, all five for both men and women) and increase field sizes in the existing events. The IOC has stated they are open to granting the UCI additional events if they can find a way to do it without increasing the total allocation of cyclists (other Olympic sports have the same rule about allocations) and this would also encourage top road cyclists to show a little interest in trying to qualify for the other disciplines.

      Alternatively, to reduce the number of road cyclists and promote the other disciplines while still having some sort of road event, perhaps the RR and ITT could be replaced with a two-up team time trial?

      • Michael Sproul

        No thanks, the IOC can keep its dirty rotten hands away from DH thank you!

    • Neal Rogers

      I’m with you, Nitro

    • Negative? I can’t think of one. Cycling desperately needs drawcards and relatable ones at that.

      Coming off the back of the Tour and 4 weeks of specific training I’d say Nino / Absalon are watching this space closely. Biggest mistake would be not to take him very seriously.

      I haven’t cared much for the MTB at the Olympics since Cadel last raced in Sydney – and this has changed it for me, as it has for you and many many others.

      MTB’ing is the clear winner whoever steps on the podium.

    • And MTB-lovers have something to gain, too. Hering has not missed an Olympic opportunity, will have no pressure to win, but will have the dirt crowd pushing for him to show up the full-time roadies.

  • Albert

    It’s a bit unfortunate that he’s doing this the same year as he wears the road world champion jersey. Always nice to see that jersey in contention for the gold medal on the road.

    • david

      It’s possible that I’m taking you too literally, and could just be wrong altogether, but I don’t think he would actually wear the world champion jersey in the Olympic road race.

  • packfill

    Huh… They gave Sagan the only spot. Imagine that.

  • Mark Blackwell

    Fantastic news. As much as I’d like to watch him in the road race, hopefully he’ll provide some wildcard interest in what otherwise promised to be yet another Schurter/Absalon match race in the MTB event. Will be awesome to see how he matches up against that pairing, particularly Schurter who is the better/bolder descender. Will also be interesting to see how he trains for it, because 1.5 hours flat out is very different to your average TdF stage.

  • Derek Maher

    I wish Peter all the best in his off road endeavour I just hope he does not injure himself and avoids the mosquitoes and rocks.


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