Life In The Rainbow Jersey

Peter Sagan’s wins in the cycling world are crazy-impressive. He is the first ever to win three consecutive World Road Race Championships, in 2015, 2016, and 2017 — which earned him the right to wear the hallowed rainbow jersey for a full year of road-race events. In 2018, he won a dazzling Paris–Roubaix and Gent–Wevelgem, and he’s amassed six Tour de France green sprinters jerseys — all ensuring his entry in the record books as one of the greatest riders of all time.

But best of all, perhaps, Sagan can pop a mean wheelie while crossing the finish line.

“Why so serious?” is Sagan’s mantra, one that he evokes often in his new autobiography, My World. At age 29, he’s dedicated and determined in his racing, but equally so to the joy of racing — and living.

After the all-too-serious years of Lance Armstrong’s cycling domination and ensuing drug scandal, the charismatic Sagan is a disrupter and a breath of fresh air. He brings welcome and much-needed fun back to the sport, making him the ideal ambassador for cycling and perhaps the coolest rider to ever turn a crank.

My World captures Sagan’s spirit. The book is an all-around joy to read, written with flair and fun in mind. But he does at times get serious, describing in engrossing detail the workings behind some of his greatest wins — and greatest losses. His retelling of taking the rainbow jersey in 2017 at Bergen, Norway, is worth the price of admission alone, as he makes winning a world championship sound easy. And along the way, he illuminates his own brand of training, tactics, and philosophy.

The book is also a beautiful production in its own right. The stylish design of both the binding and dust jacket, as well as two sections packed with color photos, make it a treasure for cyclists.

In this excerpt, Sagan tells his secrets — or lack thereof — behind the fine art of sprinting.

On Sprinting by Peter Sagan

If there is one question I’ve been asked most often in my career, it’s probably: Are you a sprinter? Or maybe it’s: Why are you such a nutcase? But no, probably still: Are you a sprinter?

The answer is no. I am an all-rounder. I can sprint as well or as badly as I can climb or time trial; it’s just that sprinting comes a bit easier to me.

I’ve still got the jump I had when I first turned pro. When we do the various tests and studies that we have to do for the team, for the UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale], for the anti-doping guys, on a good day…

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