"Maybe it's more funny" says the roadie superstar

Road racing star Peter Sagan is having a crack at the Olympic cross country mountain biking this Sunday. Here’s a few words from the man himself as D-Day approaches.

Sagan on not doing the Olympic road race

“The decision to race in mountain bike was made in January. It’s all in the past. I am here to focus on mountain bike.

“I’m surprised in the victory of Greg Van Avermaet [in the Olympic road race], but the road race in the Olympics is a strange race. There is not a strong field, it depends on the legs, it depends on the luck. He was also a bit lucky due to the crash involving the others, but the Olympic gold medal is for all of life.”

Video: 5 Most Exciting Mountain Bikes of 2016

What bike will Sagan be racing on?

“I will race on full suspension, on a Specialized Epic.”

On hearing about the fire at the Olympic mountain bike venue

“I have heard about this fire, but I only saw the video of the course, so I am not so sure there are many trees there. I don’t know if there was too much damage.

“I will go there tomorrow for training, and I will see the parcours for the first time. The course is very fast. It’s a little bit technical in some points. We will see.”

Pic: Peter Sagan/Twitter

Pic: Peter Sagan/Twitter

Pre-Olympic training at Park City, Utah

“I wanted some rest after the Tour de France, and to do some training at altitude. I already know this place, and I have visited there before after the Tour of California. I know the roads and the trails. I feel more comfortable there. It feels like home.

“It’s always better to do a bit of racing before a competition. OK, it wasn’t a super-race, not a high level, but to come to the Olympics without some starts, that’s bad. I was always at altitude, and it could be good for the preparation. We’ll see on Sunday.”

Where does he hope to finish on Sunday?

“I don’t hope for anything. I have not raced mountain bike in seven years. A lot of things have changed. I’m here for more personal [reasons]. I want to try. I don’t expect nothing big. I will give the maximum for sure.

Can I win? If I lose, I am not disappointed. If I win, it’s so good. I’m here for a result. I’m here to give my best.”

Pic: Peter Sagan/Twitter

Pic: Peter Sagan/Twitter

Returning to mountain biking

“It’s very nice. I started racing mountain bikes, for me, it’s always been special. I didn’t do big World Cups, but I am here in the biggest race in the world. That is fun.

“The races are shorter now. Before, we would race two hours, now it’s more around one and a half hours. I think the parcours can be good for me. Technically, I am not bad. I am not here to lose.”

Sagan’s previous Olympic experiences

“I raced the road race in London and I already wanted to race mountain bike there but it was not possible. For sure, it’s a big dream for me. I have already won some big things on the road, already the road race world championship. What can I do now? Olympic Games. We will see. Maybe I have another Olympic road race in my future.”

The differences between road racing and mountain bike racing

“It’s all about one day. All about one and a half hours. The tactics I will decide during the race. You can lose the race in the start, but it could be good. Maybe if I am lucky, and I can go to the front pretty fast. Maybe I will waste too much energy.

“The Tour de France has nothing to do with mountain biking. For sure, the road race, it’s a completely different effort. You cannot compare it to time trial. It’s more like cyclo-cross. Mountain bike is something different.

“I did my best in training. I will do my best Sunday. No one knows what the hell to expect. Maybe it’s more funny.”