A profile of Peter Sagan as our build-up continues to the Tour de France coming to west Essex and East London

Peter Sagan celebrating a win in this year's Tour of Oman. Picture: Action Images

Peter Sagan celebrating a win in this year's Tour of Oman. Picture: Action Images

First published in Football by , Group Sports Editor

Peter Sagan is simply an exceptional talent and he heads into this year’s Tour de France seeking a third straight victory in the green jersey points competition – and he’s still only 24.

What makes the Slovak star such a force is his ability across a variety of terrains. He doesn’t have the pure speed of the very quickest but he is a strong sprinter, and also a proven taste for the unexpected – launching an attack when the peloton least expects it.

But it is Sagan’s consistency that again marks him out as the favourite for the green jersey. The former junior mountain bike world champion is frequently inside the top five at the end of the stage and his ability to regularly add to his points tally at the intermediate sprints, including in the less challenging mountain stages, means he has an advantage over his main rivals in the competition.

And what has Sagan won? It’s probably easier to look at those major races Sagan hasn’t tasted victory in so far.

The Cannondale team leader has four Tour de France stage wins to his name to date but throw in stage victories in the likes of Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatco and the Tour de Romandie and you can begin to understand why he is regarded as arguably the most gifted rider in the professional ranks.

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