Everyone else in the cycling universe has had their say on Peter Sagan’s regrettable and rather immature behaviour on the podium at Flanders last Sunday, so I may as well add my 10 cents worth.
Regardless of your stance on the broader issue of podium girls and whether they have any place in modern cycling, I feel one of the biggest (yet least talked about) disappointments was what happened afterwards.
Let’s not forget, for all his prodigious talent and ability to still pull wheelies after 250km, Sagan is still only 23 (incidentally, he was born on Australia Day, 1990). Like many young athletes before him, and no doubt many after, he did something pretty darn stupid on Sunday – something he’ll possibly only truly appreciate with the wisdom of a few more years on Planet Earth. But young men, and women, do stuff up. This is nothing new.
Team Cannondale’s performance afterwards, however, left plenty to be desired for a top-flight professional sporting organisation. Not dissimilar to NRL players who often used to rock up to face the media in t-shirts, what was going on with his video apology? Mumbling away in an anonymous hotel room in a stretched t-shirt? Were they serious, or just taking the piss?
Whilst yes it’s laced with brutal sarcasm, several points made in the following post from the blog Bikesnob on Tuesday ring very true for me. Hopefully Sagan has learned a valuable lesson in the last few days – and his team management as well.