Seven-time Grand Tour and Eurosport expert Alberto Contador has said that he believes that Peter Sagan is similar to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Boris Becker.
Spaniard Contador was talking during Stage 14 when Sagan and his BORA-Hansgrohe team-mates unleashed a devastating attack on his green jersey rival Sam Bennett.
Bora, helped by CCC Team, opened up a huge gap that left Bennett Deceuninck Quick-Step in their wake and unable to respond.
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Sagan finished fourth and closed the gap on Bennett to 43 points going into the final week.
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The Slovenian is a two-time green jersey defending champion and has won the points classification at Le Tour seven times, more than anybody else. Contador thinks he has a huge cultural relevance that extends beyond his sport, similar to Ibrahimovic and Eurosport pundit Becker.
“He is a very peculiar guy,” Contador said. “He has qualities that make him one of the best cyclists of the last few years.
“But what I think is more interesting is his character. He is one of those special sportsmen and women who go beyond sport and are media-friendly in many ways.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Peter Sagan, Boris Becker... they are all extraordinary in their sports, but even more relevant outside of competition.
“They are necessary characters in sport and Sagan is undoubtedly one of the top ones in recent years.”
Contador was also asked about who he thinks will be the future of cycling and he picked out two names who have already shone at this year’s Tour, Tadej Pogacar and Wout van Aert as well as the defending champion Egan Bernal.
“They are two cyclists who can shape the future of the best cycling in the years to come.
“Both are two great talents who I believe are leading their generation including other great participants like Bernal. They are the present and the future of cycling.”