It’s yet another measure of how Peter Sagan dominates the world of pro cycling. In the 2017 cyclingnews reader poll, Sagan’s historic three-peat in the Men’s World Championship Road race won as Most Memorable moment. Yes, he’s the King of Flow.
In a close vote, he beat out the Alberto Contador show in the Vuelta, specifically the Spaniard’s dramatic and beautiful farewell victory on the Angliru. In third place, literally bring up the rear, was Tom Dumoulin‘s improvisational toilet stop on the Stelvio stage of the Giro d’Italia. Not particularly hygienic, but still impressionable enough for the final step of the popularity podium.
However, it’s symbolic of his massive star power and influence, that even when Sagan is disqualified and thrown out of a race, it’s still a Most Memorable moment. Sagan’s role in crashing Mark Cavendish out of the Tour de France on stage 5 took home fifth place in the voting.
By contrast, Chris Froome winning both the Tour and Vuelta barely beat out Sagan’s DQ. Yeah, you gotta win two grand tours and ride hard for over six weeks just to beat Sagan by a percentage point on the tabulation. Froome’s maillot jaune and maillot rojo barely top Sagan’s crazy sprint along the barriers, his right elbow taking down the Manx Missile. (That would be Cavendish’s most memorable moment for the season.)
When Sagan was tossed from this year’s Tour de France, the sport lost the only rider with enough celebrity wattage to drawn a general audience beyond the hardcore cycling fan. The Tour went on with Froome grinding to his fourth win but there was a distinct lack of dazzle with the Slovakian gone.
We wonder what Sagan himself would name as his Most Memorable moment. Perhaps it was when Team Sky signed his newborn son Marlon to a development contract.