There’s a reason Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan is one of the most riders popular in the sport.

He is a man of the people.

That was never truer than over the weekend, when he popped up at a 50-kilometer mountain bike race in Wyoming. The road race world champion and winner of three stages in last month’s Tour de France chose to race off road at the Rio Olympics, so he tuned up by blitzing the Pierre’s Hole 50.

AP Photo/Zabulon Laurent

Sagan didn’t spend much time with the people Saturday, either. He won in a tick over 2 hours, more than 21 minutes ahead of second-place Davey Mitchell.


The Olympic mountain bike race is Aug. 21, the final day of competition.

Sagan chose to ride in that event rather than Saturday’s road race in Rio because he thought the climb-heavy course was not suited to his ability. He is a former world junior champion in the sport, but will face a lot tougher competition at the Olympics than he faced last weekend.