Sagan powers to world championship title

Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:52pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Slovakia's Peter Sagan emerged from the pack in the final climb up the cobbles and then powered his way to a spectacular victory at the road cycling world championships on Sunday.

Long hailed as cycling's next big thing, Sagan hid in the bunch for most of the punishing 261.4km race, then lived up to his promise as he pulled away and held on for a three-second win over Australian Michael Matthews.

As he crossed the finish line, Sagan lifted his hands in triumph, got off his bike and tossed it up the road.

Lithuania's Ramunas Navardauskas was third.

"I am very happy, I was fighting always in the Tour de France and in the summer classics I was in the front but not the best," the playful Sagan told reporters. "I am very happy for one big victory like this.

"I cannot believe this. The rainbow jersey is best for me I think. I can stop my career now...I am joking."

A rider with decent sprinting qualities added to a capacity to master short and brutal ascents, the Richmond course with its sharp punchy climbs, including two up cobblestones, was tailor made for the 25-year-old.

For much of the race, Sagan was the invisible man, patiently biding his time hidden in the peloton until seizing his chance with three kilometers to go when he decided to make a solo break.   Continued...

 
Sep 27, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Peter Sagan of Slovakia raises his hands in victory as he crosses the finish line in the UCI road cycling world championships at Richmond Road Circuit. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports