Victory Salutes

Let us ask you whose victory salutes do you enjoy the most? Luckily we have seen enough tweets, status updates or blog posts to know the answer, Peter Sagan's. Peter generally distances himself from the rest of the contenders to give him enough time to give a proper victory salute.

Here is some of his victory salutes from his wins. The list will keep growing, please revisit when you have the chance.

Quicklinks:

Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 3
Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 5
Tour de Romandie 2010, Stage 1
Tour of California 2010, Stage 5
Tour of California 2010, Stage 6
Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 1
Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 3
Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 4
Tour of California 2011, Stage 5
Tirreno - Adriatico 2013, Stage 6
Gent - Wevelgem 2013

Peter Sagan Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 3
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephill.tv

Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 3: Sagan's first WorldTour/ProTour race victory. Like his first classic victory (Gent - Wevelgem 2013), this stage was also shortened 53 kilometres due to snow and bad weather.

He was in a decisive move with Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Nicholas Roche (Ag2R La Mondiale), Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank), Tony Martin (Team HTC - Columbia) and Alberto Contador (Astana). With only 1 kilometer left, it was almost clear that the breakaway would reach the finish without getting caught. In the final kilometer, it was Voigt and Contador who led the group as they had GC ambitions. Then in the last few hundred meters Sagan started his sprint and easily won ahead of Roche and Rodriguez. Voigt, Martin and Contador arrived two seconds later.

After his win Sagan said: "I’m very happy because it’s my first win in a big race," Sagan said. "But Roman Kreuziger is the number one in the team. Tomorrow my role is to help him out. I have no ambition here because I’m young and I’m here to learn." Source: cyclingnews.com

 

Peter Sagan Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 5
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephill.tv

Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 5: Peter attacked from the front of the peloton with around 1.8km to go. He started his solo escape did easily distanced himself from the rest of the peloton. He built up a lead which seemed enough to earn him the stage victory. However in the last 500m peloton did close down the gap dramatically. But it was going to be an uphill sprint finish which Sagan seems to excel at. So Peter managed to hang on to his lead and won his second stage in his first WorldTour/ProTour stage race.

Yes, he was this good in this sort of uphill sprint finishes even when he was just 20 years old. The majority of the cycling world acknowledged this in Tour 2012.

Behind, you can see Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre - Farnese Vini) who will finish second and also Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) who will finish third but will eventually be disqualified due to his ban.

 

Peter Sagan Tour de Romandie 2010, Stage 1
Photo: © AFP, taken from cyclingnews.com

Tour de Romandie 2010, Stage 1: Following his stage wins in Paris - Nice, 20 years old first year pro Peter Sagan continued his success at Tour de Romandie. Finishing just 0.92 second behind HTC-Columbia's Marco Pinotti in the prologue, he missed out on the chance to wear the yellow jersey. But on Stage 1, even though Pinotti was also leading the points classification, since he was wearing the yellow jersey, Sagan was sporting the green one.

Throughout the stage, there were a couple of climbs which Sagan had to climb with the front of the peloton and before the stage he was not sure whether he was going to succeed. But Peter did beat the climbs and prepared himself for the potential bunch sprint finish.

A few riders tried going clear in the last 5 kilometers, but it all came together after all. The bunch sprint started in the last few 100 meters as usual and the green jersey was the first jersey across the line. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) was second and Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) was third. In the photo above, behind Peter you can also see Fabio Felline in the unconventional colors of the Footon-Servetto jersey, he finished fifth.

With the bonus seconds he won with the stage win, Peter did manage to earn the yellow jersey this time.

 

Peter Sagan Tour of California 2010, Stage 05
Photo: © Ken Conley, taken from steephil.tv

Tour of California 2010, Stage 5: On May 20, peloton rode from Visalia to Bakersfield and covered a total of 195.5 km. There were several attempts to form a breakaway group and one of these attemps came from Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) as usual. However Liquigas upped the tempo and closed the gap to the breakaway as they had one name in mind: Peter Sagan.

The 20 year old neo-pro already showed his skills especially with the uphill sprint finishes and since stage 5 is featuring one, the team wanted to make sure Peter is positioned in the best possible way to contest the stage victory.

The breakaway got caught and riders focused on two main goals, first to contest the stage win, second to gain time against other GC rivals. The GC battle was between Zabriskie and Rogers, whereas for the stage it was all for Sagan. Zabriskie led the front of the main group in the last kilometer and Peter used this as a launching pad accelerated so fast that nobody could even stay on his wheel.

Peter had enough time to celebrate and give several victory salutes. Behind him, Rogers managed to pip Zabriskie to take the second place. You may watch the final 3 minutes of this stage on Youtube (HD quality).

 

Peter Sagan Tour of California 2010, Stage 06
Photo: © Ken Conley, taken from steephil.tv

Tour of California 2010, Stage 6: Queen stage and stage finish at Big Bear Lake. Peloton was going to suffer through a total of 7 categorized climbs within 213.7 km. So it was clear that sprinters would be in the grupetto. Not Sagan though! He managed to stay with the main GC contenders until the very end and easily rode them off his wheel with his sprint to win the queen stage.

Let's have a look at what Rogers said after the stage, it clearly shows at what level Sagan is. "Sagan showed his class by winning two stages including the queen stage. I saw him there at the top of the last climb and started concentrating on second. A guy that's as fast as him in the finish is always hard to beat." Source: cyclingnews.com

Sagan raised his right hand and showed 5 fingers as his victory celebration indicating his fifth professional victory in 2010. Interestingly enough this was going to be his last win in 2010.

You may watch the final 1 hour of this stage on Youtube.

 

Peter Sagan Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 01
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephil.tv

Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 1: Liquigas team knew that the uphill sprint finish would fit Peter perfectly and that's why they have taken the control of the front of the peloton. Especially in the closing kilometres it was all about the green and blue of the Liquigas jersey. First Nibali, then Capecchi, and finally Oss led the front of the main group. In the final few hundred meters Peter launched his sprint and won the stage with a comfortable margin. To be honest you might see this final sentence mentioned quite a few times on this page. This is due to the fact that when it comes to uphill sprint finishes, Peter is always one of the very best.

Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) took the second and Peter's final lead-out man Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale) managed to grap third. Liquigas was quite dominant in this stage and you can even notice several of their riders in the photo above celebrating Peter's stage victory.

“I still don’t really know what kind of rider I am or what I can do,” Sagan told the press after the finish. “I know that I’m young, I haven’t raced much and I haven’t won much. Don’t compare me to Philippe Gilbert: he’s a champion.” Source: cyclingnews.com

 

Peter Sagan Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 03
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephil.tv

Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 3: After taking the overall lead with his Stage 1 victory, Peter saw the leader's jersey changing hands after Stage 2. Damiano Cunego (Lampre - ISD) took the overall lead. Stage 3 however was again going to feature a slightly uphill finish.

Liquigas used this to its best advantage and it as Capecchi who led the main group in the final kilometer. Peter was just sitting comfortably waiting for the right moment to attack. That moment came around 200m to go and off Peter went. Nobody could stay on his wheel and he got his second stage victory in three stages. He also took the overall lead back. Sagan first pointed the sky and this was then followed by two punches into the air. Please also notice the fact that the points classification jersey Peter was wearing didn't have his team name printed, right in the middle of this jersey he had a big blank rectangular area.

Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Androni Giocattoli) pipped Damiano Cunego (Lampre - ISD) for the second place. Source: cyclingnews.com

 

Peter Sagan Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 04
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephil.tv

Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 4: This guy can do it all! Peter's first two stage victories were both uphill sprint finishes. But this time, Stage 4 featured a flat sprint finish that seemed perfected for a bunch sprint. That indeed was also the case. The peloton came to the finish line as a big group but the thing that didn't change was the first man across the finish line: Peter Sagan.

This stage proved his versatility once again and thanks to the bonufications he managed to extend his overall lead over Serpa and Cunego. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Androni Giocattoli) pipped Damiano Cunego (Lampre - ISD) for the second place.

Next day's final stage would finish with a longer uphill finish and Peter knew he needed some gap as climbers like Serpa, Cunego and Scarponi would be more likely to win. Indeed Scarponi won the final stage but Peter just did enough to secure his first general classification victory wearing a Liquigas-Cannondale jersey. He also won the Points Classification too! Source: cyclingnews.com

 

Peter Sagan Tour of California 2011, Stage 05
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephil.tv

Tour of California 2011, Stage 05: Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek) and Oscar Freire was our on the front and the duo was doing relatively well. Remnants of the day's earlier were stuck between the duo and the peloton. Heading into the final 20km, the duo and the front held a slim advantage of 25 seconds over the rest of the break, and the peloton was 2 minutes behind.

4km. later Denifl crashed and left Freire all by himself. Stage 05 was sponsored by Rabobank and there were hundreds of representatives from the company on site to cheer for the team. So the stage win became quite important. Freire was at his limits however the peloton caught him with only 2.5km to go.

It was then Peter Sagan who took the lead in the closing few hundred meters and sprinted to victory. Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) was second and Ben Swift (Sky Procycling) was third. With this stage victory Peter increased his lead in the Points Classification. At the end of the tour, he was still the one to wear the dark green and black Points Classification jersey on the final podium! Source: cyclingnews.com

 

Peter Sagan Tirreno - Adriatico 2013 Stage 06 Victory
Photo: © Sirotti Photo, taken from steephill.tv

Tirreno - Adriatico 2013, Stage 6: Stage 6 of Tirreno - Adriatico was proven to be the most decisive. It included climbs up to 28% which shattered the peloton several times. Nibali was able to escape from the main contenders but was soon joined by Sagan and Joaquim Rodriguez.

The trio managed to keep the chasers away and when they were approaching the finish line, it was clear to whom the stage victory was going: Peter Sagan. Sagan sprinted to the stage victory with ease whilst Nibali came second and Rodriguez third. In a stage where the main GC contenders like Contador and Froome lost time, Peter was able to climb with the best and got the stage victory. Many say this was Sagan's one of the most profilic wins of his career, up until now.

His victory salute included kisses to both of his biceps and then punching the air with the fists. When asked what for the kisses were, Peter told the reporters that he just wanted to thank his biceps/arms because that's how he managed to come up with the win. Sagan was actually referring to how the zig-zagged through the 28% climbs.

If you want to see the wheelie as a mini video please visit this link. (.gif file 0.97 MB)

 

Peter Sagan Gent Wevelgem 2013
Photo: © Sportwereld, taken from nieuwsblad.be
Peter Sagan Gent Wevelgem 2013
Photo: taken from tumblr.com

Gent - Wevelgem 2013: Sagan finally got this first major cobble classic victory. Gent - Wevelgem is no monument, but yet it is quite prestigious and also winning this race shows you will have decent shot at the victory in the upcoming monuments Tour of Flanders and Paris - Roubaix.

Due to the cold weather in Belgium, organizers decided to move the start to Gistel instead of Deinze. The riders then covered the first 50 kilometres of the race by bus.

Peter was in the breakaway but the peloton and the chasers were closing down the gap quite steadily. Seeing this as a threat, with only 4 kilometers to go, Sagan launched his solo attack from the breakaway. As usual there was hesitation within the breakaway for the organization of the chase. Using this to his advantage, Peter kept a steady pace and slowly built up a lead.

With only a few 100 metres to go, he looked over his shoulder twice to see if anyone was onto him. The answer was a 'No'. He then threw punches in the air, which was followed by a series of wheelies. The remnants of the breakaway reached the finish line 23" behind Sagan.

If you want to see the wheelie as a mini video please visit this link. (.gif file 1.76 MB)

50m past the finish line apparently Peter continued his celebrations with a whip skid in front of the cameras. If you ask me that is as impressive as his wheelie.

There is also a highly recommended mini video of his whip skid here. (.gif file 1.87 MB) Do not try at home though! Source: @CyclingFlash

Quicklinks:

Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 3
Paris - Nice 2010, Stage 5
Tour de Romandie 2010, Stage 1
Tour of California 2010, Stage 5
Tour of California 2010, Stage 6
Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 1
Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 3
Giro di Sardegna 2011, Stage 4
Tour of California 2011, Stage 5
Tirreno - Adriatico 2013, Stage 6
Gent - Wevelgem 2013