The last dance. Sagan is waiting for an old rival in top form, his rivals are also helping him – Cycling

They made dozens of adrenaline spurts together, wheel to wheel. One of their clashes upset Slovakia for the whole summer. In a few weeks, they will say goodbye together at an event where they both left a significant mark.

France SR sport cycling TdF 6th stage Photo: ,

Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan will cross arms at the Tour de France.

Mark Cavendish believes his will be even deeper than Peter Sagan’s cut. The British gladiator has his sights set on breaking the record of Belgian legend Eddy Merckx in the number of stage triumphs at the Tour de France.

Cavendish and Merckx, the star of the 1970s, have 34 of them.

Boris Horváth Read more As Sagan walked towards me, I suddenly thought… He is not a debauched millionaire

“I’m not going to the Tour to win just one stage. It will be a farewell to an event that will stay in my heart forever.

I’ll tear the asphalt with my teeth if I have to,” promises the “Manxman”, who, like Sagan, a seven-time winner of the points on the Tour, will end professional cycling on the road after the season.

Thanking the opponent

Cavendish has already had one successful farewell. At the recently concluded Giro d’Italia, he dominated the most prestigious stage for sprinters with the goal in Rome. In the intense competition of younger rivals, help came to him from an unexpected side.

Cavendish achieved a significant part of the wins (he already has 162 after the weekend) thanks to the work of the sprint train. However, Kazakhstan does not have that luxury in the Astana stable.

Photo: SITA/AP, Alessandra Tarantino

Italy Giro Cycling Mark Cavendish came with an overview after the triumph in the final stage of the Giro.

At the end of the mass finish in Rome, only Luis Léon Sánchez remained with him. When Geraint Thomas, the leader of the Ineos team, saw this, he did not hesitate to support his friend from the British national team.

The 2011 world champion started the spurt in such a way that Cavendish had no problem decorating his last Giro stage in his career with the coveted triumph.

“I saw that he stayed there almost alone, so I say to myself: Why not help my brother? Cav deserved a winning farewell,” smiled Thomas.

Such help in the peloton between rivals is not common.

Something similar was demonstrated by longtime colleagues Daniel Oss and Peter Sagan. Oss, then riding for the BMC team, helped Sagan win the points race at the 2017 Tour of California. The man from Žilina called it “the most emotional moment of their friendship” in one of the interviews.

Sagan spent the past few days in Utah, where he completed the traditional high-altitude training.

From June 11, he will participate in Around Switzerland. He will complete the Tour General in home conditions at the joint championship of Slovakia and the Czech Republic in Tlmačy (June 25).

Help from a friend

Although the finish of the Giro belonged to Cavendish, the overall winner was the main focus.

Primož Roglič forgot about the battle with the time trial from Tour de France 2020, where his younger compatriot Tadej Pogačar sensationally robbed him of the overall triumph, and this time he did not hesitate in the decisive race against the chronometer.

Thanks to his flawless performance, he stripped the then leader of the race, Thomas, from the pink jersey, and the next day he celebrated the overall triumph in Rome.

True, even this time it was not without drama in the case of the Slovenian.

During the climb in the time trial, his chain fell off and although he was able to put it on quickly, he lost speed on the hill. The mechanic was unable to crush him by himself and the Jumba bosses panicked.

However, one of the spectators suddenly ran up and sent the cyclist into motion. Roglič’s friend and former colleague from the Slovenian national team Mitja Mežnar turned out to be a fan. Not from cycling, but from ski jumping.

Both also started at the Junior WC 2007, where they took fourth and fifth place. Roglič then had a fall on the bridge in Planica, after which he put his skis away for good and started cycling.

“What is the probability that at the moment when your life passes before your eyes, you have a friend on hand to help you in a crisis situation? Mitja stood by me like a guardian angel,” enthused Roglič.

Peter Sagan Read more A Polish kamikaze caused Sagan’s end at the Tour of Flanders, an ambulance also intervened

The three-time champion of the Spanish Vuelta, who won his first overall triumph at the Giro, is now waiting for a well-deserved rest and will leave his place on the scene to a younger rival.

Tadej Pogačar is slowly but surely recovering from the injury he suffered after falling at the Liége – Bastogne – Liége classic in April. He believes that he will be in 100% form by the start of the Tour.

“Last year he wanted a third Tour title in the series, but Jumbo led by Vingegaard was against it. He has a huge motivation to win and prove that he is the modern-day king of the Old Lady,” commented Pogačar’s commentators on the Eurosport podcast.

The Tour de France 2023 will take place from July 1 to 23, starting with a hilly stage around Bilbao in the Basque Country.

Source: Pravda – Športweb – Futbal – Hokej by

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