"It affected me deeply" - Peter Sagan reflects on dangers of road racing after Gino Mäder's tragic death

Although Peter Sagan maintains an ambition to compete at the Olympic Games this summer on the Mountain Bike, the Slovakian's days in the professional road cycling peloton have now come to a conclusion.

Sitting down for an in-depth interview with Blick, Sagan was asked if there is anything he misses from life as a professional road racer. “No, nothing!” the 34-year-old responds in typical Sagan-style with a shrug of the shoulders. “It's all about suffering and making sacrifices in training - but in the end, mountain biking is what I always wanted to do from a young age.”

Recently however, Sagan was dealt a shock blow when the Slovakian was taken to hospital after a race and forced to undergo surgery following heart irregularities. Whilst he insists he will be back on his bike soon, Sagan understands this makes his Olympic dream more of a challenge. “It's going to be very difficult. The chances are probably zero – but we’ll see,” he assesses.

Such an ordeal also made Sagan reflect on one of the big events of his final season on the road. The tragic passing of Gino Mäder following a crash on a descent at the Tour de Suisse. “I was very sad after his death. He belonged to the younger generation, I didn't have much contact with him and yet it affected me deeply," Sagan recalls. "That was a great tragedy for cycling.”

Sagan is keen to emphasize however, this tragic incident didn't affect his decision to call time on his road career. “I already had a clear idea in January of what I wanted to do next," he explains in conclusion.

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