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by Neal Rogers
November 24, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chaves to start season at Tour Down Under; One Pro Cycling loses sponsor and Pro Continental status; Brajkovic signs with Bahrain Merida; Wanty-Groupe Gobert signs Lieuwe Westra; Astana unveils 2017 jersey and Argon 18 bikes; Sagan eyes Roubaix victory, hints that he could retire in ‘three, four, five, six years’; CyclingTips Podcast: David Walsh on Armstrong, Team Sky, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins’ TUEs; Etixx-QuickStep staff wraps up two-day team building exercises; Video: Trailer for Cyclocross World Cup in Zeven, Germany
World champion Peter Sagan is still only 26 — he turns 27 in January — yet the Slovakian rider has alluded to the possibility that his professional career could be over as soon as 2019. Speaking with journalists at his gran fondo charity event in Westlake Village, California, over the weekend, Sagan was asked a question about what he does to keep all the hard work of training fun for himself. In his answer, he spoke about spending time with his family, and alluded to the fact that he might be spending more time with them sooner than cycling fans would expect.
“To have fun, I like to be with Kate, to be with my family from Slovakia, my mother, father, sister, and brothers. It’s very nice to spend time with them. I’ll be doing my job for another three, four, five, six years. I don’t know for how many. And then, that’s it. Then I’ll have more time for everything else that I want.”
While far from a declarative statement, Sagan’s words come as a surprise, given his age and star power. And while retiring in six years from now — at age 32, nearly 33 — would be young by most measures, it would also be after a 13-year pro career.
Prompted to elaborate on his stated three-to-six-year timeframe, Sagan was philosophical. “Nobody knows,” he said. “This is life. One day it is good, the next day it is bad. One day you are winning the Tour de France, another day you’re at home.”
Asked which races are most important for him to win before he retires, Sagan pointed to Paris-Roubaix, saying “From the start of the season, [the focus] is the classics. Whatever I win, I will be happy. Roubaix… because I won Flanders, if I can win another Flanders, I will be happy. If I could win Roubaix, I would also be happy, because I’ve never won Roubaix.” Sagan’s best result at Roubaix is sixth, in 2014.
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