On Sunday, Peter Sagan became the first man in history to win the UCI World Championship road race in three consecutive years. The (drumroll please) “three-Pete” is just the latest golden layer on Sagan’s gilded palmares. The three-time World Champ and five-time Tour de France Green Jersey-winner has already established himself as one of the greatest cyclists in history, and he’s still just 27 years old. What more is to come from the Slovakian superstar?
Sagan’s (arguably unfair) disqualification at the 2017 Tour de France robbed him of a sixth consecutive Green Jersey, and that has to be weighing heavily on his mind heading into the offseason. Will he return next year, as fresh as ever, ready to contest the Classics and reclaim the Green Jersey? Is the cycling world still his oyster?
Peter Sagan: 2018 Odds and Prop Bets
Odds Sagan wins the 2018 Tour de France Green Jersey: 4/9
It took a controversial disqualification to deny Sagan his sixth consecutive Green Jersey at the Tour de France this year. After already establishing a lead over the other points classification contenders by stage four, Sagan was harshly disqualified after causing fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish to crash.
Unless something similar happens next year, it’s quite likely that we’ll see Sagan back in green when the 2018 Tour is over. He is simply too well-rounded to be denied, able to pick up points in the flatter sprint stages and get himself into successful breakaways on some of the steeper days. This year’s winner, Michael Matthews, may pose a risk, but he’s not quite at Sagan’s level. Pure sprinters like Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel will pick up stage wins on flat terrain, but as we’ve seen in recent years, they’ll struggle to pick up points during the hilly stages, and that’s where Sagan will pull away.
Odds Sagan wins the 2018 World Championship road race: 3/1
For a moment, it seemed like the 2017 Rainbow Jersey was destined for a new champion. Sagan approached final climb 80 places back in the peloton, seemingly too far behind the front to make up ground. But somehow he managed to claw his way to the front and contest the sprint, beating local hero Alexander Kristoff and Michael Matthews.
A record-breaking fourth win would be a landmark occasion for the sport of cycling, and despite his habit of finishing second at other events, Sagan has been shockingly consistent at the World Championships.
Odds Sagan wins at least one Monument in 2018: 4/1
Sagan holds one of the most decorated resumes in cycling, but when it comes to the UCI’s five Monuments — events which he should crush — his results have been subpar. Sagan only has one Monument win to his name (2016 Tour de Flanders) to go along with three second-place finishes but his only win was at last year’s Tour of Flanders.
All of the one-day Classics are notoriously difficult to predict. They’re riddled with crashes, mechanicals, unpredictable breakaways, and just general chaos. Even if Sagan is the favorite heading into the races, a win is far from guaranteed. The odds are also stacked against him because he typically only starts three of the five races. (He’s only been on the startline for the Giro di Lombardia twice in his eight-year career, and he’s never started Liege-Bastogne-Liege.)
Odds Peter Sagan wins the 2018 Slovak National Road Race Championships: 4/1
Interestingly, the last two Slovak National Road Race Championships have been won by Peter Sagan’s brother, Juraj Sagan. Before that, Peter held the National Championship title for five years. Don’t go thinking that Juraj truly outperformed Peter the last two years. Juraj is a decent rider, but he’s a domestique and no match for his little brother. It’s likely that the result of each Slovak National Championship is decided by the Sagans beforehand, and with Peter already wearing the Rainbow Jersey, the national title would make another nice gift to his big brother.