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Sagan parties, slides to 16th at eMTB worlds

Three-time world champ dabbles in dirt for electric cross country race in Les Gets, France

Peter Sagan wheelies across the finish line at eMTB world championships in Les Gets France Photo by: UCI / Twitter

Peter Sagan’s eMTB racing debut went just about according to plan on Friday. The Slovakian may have crashed, maybe a couple of times, as many riders did on the muddy world championships course in Les Gets. But he also styled the eMTB course’s sizable jumps and wheelied across the finish line for the French fans.

Sagan came into eMTB worlds, his first mountain bike race since the Rio Olympic Games, with a plan to have fun. In his own words prior to the race, “It’ll be a party.” But, with his new Direct Energies team being based in France and mountain bike worlds in Les Gets, skipping the party was not an option.

At the line, Sagan finished 16th in the men’s race behind winner Jerome Gilloux of France.

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While he may have hit the dirt, Sagan was obviously having a good time in Les Gets. Hitting jumps and wheeling his S-Works Levo eMTB across the finish line.

It isn’t Sagan’s first foray into mountain biking. After starting his career mixing pavement and dirt, including a win at junior XCO worlds, the Slovakian returned to fat tires for the 2016 Olympic Games. He’s since threatened to return to racing off-road full time, but Les Gets is the first time he’s followed through.

After a few years of guest riders stealing the show, with eMTB irregulars Alan Hatherly and Tom Pidcock nabbing the first two world titles, both men’s and women’s race saw repeat winners. Gilloux defends his 2021 title for the French fans at home. Nicole Goldi added to Switzerland’s already sizeable medal tally with a repeat win of her own in the women’s race.