If 'having fun' was on the WADA banned list then Peter Sagan would need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Because according to Anthony Tan, that's all he ever wants to do.
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Cycling Central
22 Sep 2016 - 12:46 PM  UPDATED 22 Sep 2016 - 3:26 PM

Is this the expression of a guy who simply can't believe it himself - or is he faking it?

Peter Sagan wins so much, and seemingly so easily, at times he seems bashful, embarrassed even, by his inordinate ability.

He began the season on January 18 at the Tour de San Luis, now eight months ago. Not a month has gone by when he didn't pin a number on his back.

"It can't go bad for me in Qatar. I've already won more than I could expect this year."

To date, twelve victories and three points classifications - Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of California, and, of course, the Tour de France; a remarkable fifth consecutive maillot vert.

When you look at the podium from last Sunday's inaugural European road race championships in Plumelec, France, compared to Julian Alaphilippe and Daniel Moreno, the two that flanked him, he doesn't look like a bike rider. He looks like a bricklayer. (I'd imagine he'd be a pretty good brickie, too.) "I'm aware that I'm second behind the best cyclist of our generation," said Alaphilippe, who finished a distant second.

"It's already been too long a season," Sagan said afterwards, unaware of the irony of his words, given he was untouchable. He also said "it wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated work of all my Slovak team-mates" but you knew that wasn't really true, either, because he could have just as easily won on his own - which, if you watched the final lap, he pretty much did.

Yes, Peter, it's been too long and hard but you're still winning. Later that afternoon, he flew via private jet (his flamboyant team owner Oleg Tinkov's, no doubt) to start the Eneco Tour and "chase WorldTour points". "I believe the Eneco Tour will also be a good preparation for the Worlds," he said, the elite men's road race slated for October 16 in Doha, Qatar, still three weeks away.

Wednesday at Eneco, the 26-year-old two-wheeled wunderkind demonstrated his peerless versatility yet again, thriving in chaos when bunch caught break a few hundred metres from the line. "We had to sprint between them and it seemed that only Sagan had no problems with that," lamented Stage 1 winner Dylan Groenewegen of Team LottoNL-Jumbo. "It sucks that I only managed fourth." Said Sagan with his trademark sardonic grin, not unlike that of Spanish three-time world champion Oscar Freire: "I think God opened the street for me in the finishing sprint like Moses parted the seas."

Eneco sea parts for another Sagan win
Peter Sagan won a tricky sprint finish to take Stage 3 honours at the Eneco Tour with Australia's Rohan Dennis holding on to the overall lead.

Or maybe Sagan is God.

Now just three seconds behind race leader Rohan Dennis of BMC Racing, with four stages remaining, will he win overall? Probably - if he wants to.

"What to expect (of me) in mid-October?" he asked rhetorically of his chances of defending his rainbow title from Richmond last year. "I don't know. It can't go bad for me in Qatar, anyway. If I win again, it'll be something extra, but otherwise it doesn't matter because I've already won more than I could expect this year."

It's worth noting the 15.3 kilometre finishing circuit in Doha's city centre is the same one used on the third stage of this year's Tour of Qatar. It contains 24 roundabouts and 1.2 kilometres of cobblestones. Stage winner Alexander Kristoff likened it to a criterium.

Highly technical. High chance of chaos. High time for "something extra" from Sagan.

It can't go bad when you're having fun.