DUSSELDORF, Germany (AFP) — World champion Peter Sagan insisted on Thursday he is not yet bored of winning the Tour de France green jersey as he goes after Erik Zabel’s record of six.
Sagan has won the green sprinter’s jersey at the Tour for the last five years and another success this time around would equal German Zabel’s mark from 1996 to 2001.
But while Zabel was a pure sprinter, Sagan’s all-round ability allows him to dominate the jersey, picking up points on uphill finishes where the specialist fast men cannot keep up.
“I’ll do my best this year to get another one, then next year to get another one [a record seventh], then we’ll see if I’m bored,” said the 27-year-old Slovak with a chuckle.
“Fighting for the green jersey is not boring. You have to fight from the first day until the last one — it’s important to have good concentration every day.”
World champion the last two years, Sagan has established himself as one of the best riders in the world with a remarkable versatility.
He has won major one-day classics, particularly on the Belgian cobbles such as the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, and E3 Harelbeke.
He’s also won some minor stage races in the Tours of Poland, Sardinia, and California, while claiming stage victories at the Tour seven times.
But it is his ability as not only a flat sprinter but also a punchy uphill finisher that has made him so dominant in the Tour’s green jersey competition, and few doubt that he will equal Zabel’s record this year, although Sagan himself showed nonchalance toward the question.
“I don’t think about it. I’m just going my way. I’m doing my career. I don’t look at the others’ career,” he said, before adding when pushed: “Well yes, it would be something.”