Peter Sagan is undoubtedly one of the best cyclists in the world, with a list of accolades that includes three consecutive World Championships, five (sprinter) green jersey wins at the Tour de France (2012–2016), and a record 16 stage wins in the Amgen Tour of California.
The “King of California” will return for another Amgen race starting May 13 in Long Beach, where he’ll race with team Bora-Hansgrohe. Like many professional cyclists, Sagan is a huge fan of training and racing in the Golden State.
“California offers some of the best opportunities to train with a mix of mountains with steep climbs, flat terrain, and rolling hills,” Sagan told us in an exclusive interview with California Now. “You can start in the Pacific Ocean and within a few hours reach a mountain summit, going through some stunning scenery.”
Before he makes his way south to Long Beach, Sagan will continue training in one of his favorite high-altitude locations: Lake Tahoe.
“One of my favorite areas is around Lake Tahoe because it allows me to carry out intense training at a high altitude, which is crucial for the second half of the season,” he says. “On top of that, unlike Europe, most rural roads in California have very light car traffic. I think that all these factors make Lake Tahoe the obvious choice for my pre-TOC training and that's why I usually spend time there the first half of May every year. It is also a great spot with nice mountain trails, so from time to time I can have fun with my mountain bike."
Last weekend, Sagan had the opportunity to experience some of the area’s best mountain trails at his first Gran Fondo event in Truckee. The event welcomed 600 participants to ride one of three distances on a mix of dirt, gravel, and pavement. In November, he’ll host another pavement road ride in a to-be-determined California location (stay tuned for details).
“Given the affinity I have for this area, I think it was the obvious choice to hold my first two personal events here,” Sagan says. “I think that the motivation behind these Gran Fondos is to give back to all my fans, to thank them for their support all those years. In my view, we should never forget that, in the end, we race for them. I hope through these events to give them the opportunity to ride with me, have fun, and enjoy a two-day bike festival.”
Don’t miss your chance to see Sagan sprinting to the finish at one of seven stages during the May 13–19 event, which concludes in Sacramento. Read our insider tips for watching Amgen Tour of California or follow these eight tips for cycling in California.