Peter Sagan - Rio's MTB Wildcard

peter sagan

We've enjoyed a fantastic couple of Olympic cycling weeks. But there's been a noticeable absence to date - the Slovakian World Champion, Peter Sagan

One of the peloton's more colourful characters, Peter Sagan surprised some by announcing that he would not be competing on the road or the track in Rio. Instead, he's going back to his roots to race on a mountain bike. 

  Sagan tests the course before Sunday's big race

Sagan tests the course before Sunday's big race

Sunday is the big day for the men's MTB championship, however, the three-mile course was damaged by wild fires earlier this week and organisers have been busily rebuilding sections before the weekend's racing begins. 

rio mtb

Expect plenty of man-made features on the circuit including rock gardens and gap jumps as riders race at breakneck speeds. Taking place at the Deodoro Sports Complex, the competition builds up over a wide hillside full of tricky, sandy twists and turns. 

Sagan may be the wild card for a podium place, but he is a former Junior World Champion on the mountain bike. Few can deny that his bike handling is second to none - he's a powerful rider who excels at endurance and sprinting. 

Race favourites are France’s Julien Absalon, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, who will be battling it out against Nino Schurter of Switzerland, world champion four times in the last five years. The rivalry between the two riders dates back to 2001 and is the stuff of legend, even spawning it's own Facebook page! Whatever you do on Sunday, don't miss the MTB race.