Jonas Creteur a journalist from Sportmagazine.levif.be, has written three interesting articles in 2016 about the recent success of our double world champion. Here they are with the help of Google Translation. Have a good reading !
Why Sagan finally won a monument.
Peter Sagan won the Worlds in 2015 then the Round. It was not a coincidence.
Peter Sagan made a superb solo effort of thirteen kilometers. At three kilometers from the finish, he took a first look back, to watch the imitator of Eddy Merckx. Until there, he was too sure of himself to watch what was happening in his back, despite the attack of Cancellara and Vanmarcke. He then successfully concluded a thirteen-kilometer solo ride. He had already escaped in Gand Wevelgem and the Montreal GP in 2013 as at the last Worlds Championships but never more than six kilometers from the finish.
On Sunday he was not even tired. "At least not like the past three years." The legs of Sagan had always declared forfait at the Old Quaremont or the Paterberg. Not this time, notably thanks to a new preparation: until the Circuit Het Nieuwsblad, at the end of February, he did not align in competition, preferring to carry out a training camp in altitude in Sierra Nevada. Before the Worlds in Richmond, the Slovak trained in Salt Lake City, under the same conditions.
This training camps in altitude are not the only reason for his success in a more than six hours race. Peter Lagrou, the Tinkoff doctor, found the cause of his past problems during the Tour of California in 2015.
"Peter was suffering from an imbalance of the hip and leg muscles, probably caused by a fall: the nerve signals that had to be emitted to these muscles were cut and his knee turned outwards. The sprint he lost to Van Avermaet in the 2015 Tour was a great example. It caused inflammations and prevented him from developing all his power, especially in the finals, because his tired nerves did not send the right signals to the right muscles. "
Initially, the experts thought that the problem came from the hip, which he suffered regularly. "Fortunately I was able to determine the source of the problem in California," continues Lagrou. "As he won two stages and the general classification, I was able to convince him to follow the therapy that I proposed to him. We worked gradually, in view of the World Championships, he won it but our work was not finished. "
At the end of November, after his honeymoon in Zanzibar, Sagan spent a week with Lagrou at the Wave Center in Oostduinkerke. "We have learned from his body and his nervous circuits to make the right muscles work by pedaling, trunk stabilization and weight training, as well as bike riding and endurance sessions. Up to ten hours a day, before completing a complementary program for the next months.
Without changing his bike position, Peter is now very stable and can once again transmit his power to the pedals in speed, flexibility and strength. No other rider is as complete and well proportioned. "
We saw the result on Sunday.
The Man who transformed Sagan
He does not want to be considered the savior of Peter Sagan, insists Francisco Patxi Vila three times. This modesty honors him but the fact is there: since he started working with the Spanish coach, Sagan has finally unveiled the extent of his immense talent. Vila explains how.
4th in Milan Sanremo, 30th in E3 Harelbeke, 10th in Gand Wevelgem, 4th in Tour of Flanders, 23rd in Paris Roubaix. This is not the record of an average rider but that of Peter Sagan at Spring of 2015. Deeply below his level and salary (four million a year). So, after Roubaix, Tinkoff-Saxo sacked Bobby Julich, the former rider, hired for a few months as ... Sagan coach. On Monday, the quadruple green jersey was awarded a new coach: Patxi Vila (40), new in the team. As a rider at iBanesto and Lampre and a former employee of Specialized, he quickly impressed by his physiological and psychological knowledge. The Spaniard was therefore asked to take care of the Slovak talent. A year later, he returns to his collaboration with Sagan.
"The first few days I had several long conversations with Peter, by phone," says Vila in excellent English. I wanted to meet the man and the athlete. Four years after my retirement, I still feel like a rider and I try to stay close to them. I do not play tough professors: I try to explain to them why we are complying with such training. What is the positive effect. So I convince them.
Peter felt bad, after this failed spring, but I did not upset his pattern abruptly: at 25 years old, he already had a great track record, acquired thanks to his talent. Everything was not bad. So I studied for hours the wattages of the months and previous years to assess his evolution. I noticed some changes and I questioned him to see if they stemmed from his physiological evolution or bad accents in tactics, technical, food ... I then set up a first program: after a month of rest, an easy first month followed by an altitude training camp in Lake Tahoe, before the Tour of California. "
Successfully: Sagan won Two stages and the overall standings. "We saw each other for the first time. I stood speechless. Because of his victory in the ITT of 10 kilometers but especially his performance at Mount Baldy. It is
a seven-kilometer, with an average of 8.7 per cent at an altitude of 1,900 meters. Peter finished sixth at only 47 seconds from Julian Alaphilippe and Sergio Henao, but ahead of Zubeldia, Gesink, Kennaugh, TenDam ... Real featherweights, while Peter weighs 77.5 pounds. His past wattage had already impressed me but there, it was phenomenal. I realized that I had to tinker a Ferrari. Just deal with the finishes. "
But what was really under the hood and how did Vila increase these resumes? "When most of the riders are out of breath, he can still whistle, but he does not get extraterrestrial figures in his physical tests on the reels. Six or seven Tinkoff riders reach higher wattages. But in a race, on the road, he pulverized the others. Peter defies all physiological laws. I can not quote numbers but where a rider can develop a certain wattage for a scientific maximum of x minutes before being saturated, Peter holds five more minutes. But only in the race, because his competitive spirit takes over and he is able to go higher, driven by his winning spirit."
Previously, from the Slovakian championships in June 2014 until the Tour of California, he had only won a stage of Tirreno Adriatico. Rather thin for a man who had collected 65 wins for four and a half years, without any monument, certainly. The explanation of this long shortage? "He has focused too much on his weaknesses in training, so for two years he has eroded his strengths: his solid foundations and, by aging, his maximum power during a sprint or an attack. Peter still reached high wattages but it took more and more time to peak. For lack of strength in his legs, he lost some of his explosiveness. "
Vila therefore began to adjust the Ferrari engine. "We came back to the basics: pedaling, a lot and for a long time, because the more the base of the pyramid is wide, so his endurance, the higher is the point. To take it up, I made him train in fitness room three or four times a week, to recover his power and explosiveness. This is the most important change. Peter was good at fitness but it is the quality of the exercise that counts. By lifting light weights but at a steady pace, he activated the muscle fibers and did not increase his muscle volume.
The Slovak had another reason to go to the gym. In California, Vila and Peter Lagrou, the Tinkoff Flemish sports doctor, understood why in a finaly, after six hours of racing, Sagan stalled: he had an imbalance in the hip muscles and right leg: Of a fall, some nervous signals were disconnected. This instability induced him unconsciously to turn the knee outwards. He suffered from inflammation and could no longer fully exploit his potential. Especially in the finals, when his nerves, tired, had even more trouble sending signals to the right muscles. Muscle strengthening and trunk stabilization exercises partially solved the problem before the Worlds and after an intense week at Lagrou's office on the coast in November, Sagan was able to work his muscles properly again. The World Champion continues to observe this program to the letter.
"Peter no longer needs a coach"
Who is the key figure of the recent victories of Peter Sagan ? His Spanish coach, Patxi Villa, who led him to two world titles and much more.
Peter Sagan won his second World Championship title in Doha. Patxi Villa has minimized his role, but the upward curve of Peter Sagan's career has accelerated since Team Tinkoff hired the Spaniard in May 2015 after the Slovak's failed spring. Five months later, Sagan donned his first rainbow jersey and last Sunday, after a fantastic season, he won a second. Villa is not surprised, although Sagan was paler at the Eneco Tour. "Peter surprised me only once this year: by winning the Quebec GP after four days of fever, physiologically it was impossible. But for Peter, the craziest things are normal."
So the second straight triumph of Sagan is normal. Because his preparation was impeccable. "He regained his coolness after the Eneco Tour, which is why he did not race before the Worlds and we limited his training by reducing the endurance to concentrate on power and explosiveness by short and intense efforts in anticipation of the massive sprint of Qatar. We were not afraid of the echelons. Peter had to be content with watching the Belgians. In the sprint, he should not fear Cavendish, especially not After 257 kilometers.
It was in explosiveness that Peter made the most progress in a year and a half. We improved his endurance in the winter and then we worked on this indoor explosiveness.
"Second choice: to join Doha as late as possible." I have studied the subject. It takes ten days to get used to the heat. The body is stressed for the first five or six days and then it adapts. Those who arrived at the beginning of the week, most of the riders, were at the top of their stress on Sunday. Peter arrived on Thursday. Not the week before because he wanted to relax in Monaco, at home, with his wife. He recharged his batteries. "
Third point: a good nutritional strategy, before and during the Worlds. "It should be the obsession of all the riders, Peter has committed a breach of the rules in the past but now I do not even have to insist, he knows perfectly what to eat and how he feels better what his body needs in training, better calculating his efforts in the race and adjusting his timing. This is Peter's main victory this year, more than all his sports success, because it will allow him to win even more major races.
I always try to have my athletes think independently, so that they do not need me anymore. Peter, who is only 26 years old, has arrived at this stage. But do not say it: I want to keep my job, "laughs Villa, who will accompanies Sagan in his new German team, BoraHansgrohe in 2017.
Last edited by sQiD
on 02 Mar 2017 15:10, edited 2 times in total.
“Race is race. Was like was.”