While Pope Francis received a Vatican-themed Specialized Venge from Peter Sagan, the World Champion did not leave Rome empty-handed.
In return for what was probably a $10,000 high-end racing machine built for winning a cycling Monument like Milan-San Remo, the Pope gave Sagan a guardian angel bike clip in pewter, valued at $7.49 from churchsupplier.com.
The marketing copy offers the following description: “4 way Catholic bike clip cast pewter bike clip Protect Me. 8 inch adjustable black Velcro strap. 1-1/2 wide x 1-1/2 inches tall, slight curved back. Bike, motor scouter, motorcycle or even heavy baby stroller. Sacred Heart of Jesus will bless you always, St. Joseph medal, St. Christopher medal intercedes for you during travel & Miraculous medal to get your prayers answered.”
Most valuable to Sagan, who will tackled the cobbled classics like Flanders and Roubaix with high hopes, is the provision to “get your prayers answered.” With Jesus, Saint Joseph and Saint Christopher all lined up behind the man in the rainbow jersey, the sky is the limit.
Some heathens would cynically argue that the Pope got the better end of the deal but if Sagan wins in the Roubaix velodrome thanks to some saintly intervention, then it’s the World Champion who really scored.