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How did Peter Sagan Prepare for his Paris – Roubaix Victory?

Peter Sagan picked up his first Paris-Roubaix victory on Sunday the 1st April 2018.  The cycling superstar has over 100 professional victories to his name and he has won three consecutive world championships.  Clearly elated at the win, he described his “Hell of the North” victory as being better than winning a world championship.  So how did he do it and how does he prepare?

To win Paris-Roubaix, Sagan started his training in November 2017.  In this post, we look at the first week of his training schedule, including what he did, and the overall aims of each day’s session.From looking at how he trained, you can apply some of the schedule to your own training to improve your cycling.

Paris Roubaix 2018 Sagan et DillierParis Roubaix 2018 Sagan et Dillier

Image credit: Iggy [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Peter Sagan’s First Training Week 


Monday consisted of a two hour easy spin in the morning.  This was to prepare for a more intense, speed focused gym session.  His coach stated that the idea was to make Sagan’s muscle fibres work together.  


Tuesday involved a three and a half hour spin.  During the ride, Sagan performed 4 x 10 minute reps, riding to 85% of his maximum aerobic threshold.    This is not functional threshold power (FTP).  The aim of Tuesday’s training session was to work his aerobic threshold, his fitness, rather than his anaerobic threshold which is measured by FTP output.  


Wednesday consisted of a four and half hour endurance training ride that included taking on two hills.  The hills were ridden at the ‘sweet spot’ so he was not pushing himself here.   The climbs took around ten minutes to ride each.  This was his second endurance race of the week.


Thursday was an active recovery day.  The morning consisted of a one and half hour easy ride followed by gym session identical to Monday’s session.  The latter being the most important part of the day’s training.


Sagan’s cycling intensity was slightly increased for this ride.  He undertook another three and half hour spin.  The idea of this ride was to introduce intensity and build Sagan’s endurance.  To do that, Sagan’s coach included one-minute bursts where Sagan rode between 100-105% of his aerobic power over hills.  The bursts were repeated for around 30 times with a two-minute rest in between each one. (2-3 x 12 reps).


Saturday is the longest endurance ride of the week, with duration of 4 to 5 hours.  Here, Sagan rode with friends and gruppetto.  There was no particular focus to this ride although his coach stated that at times they will add torque efforts on the climbs.  This consisted of alternating three minutes at 50-60 rpm and two minutes at 90 rpm, building strength as well as fitness.  


Sunday was Sagan’s rest day.  How do triple world champions spend their time?  “During the rest day, I try to sleep a little bit longer.  I’ll watch a movie on Netflix, read a little bit, and if possible play on the PlayStation.”  Sound advice for a rest day!

Improving your Cycling

Through studying how Sagan prepared for the 2018 season we can see that the first week was largely endurance focused.   Fitness is important to cyclists of all levels and so is working with a good coach.Our cycling training camps will help you hone all aspect of your cycling and fulfil your potential becoming a better rider in the process.  You can discover our training camps by clicking here.

Keep cycling.

Disclaimer:  SportActive Cycling is no way affiliated with Peter Sagan or any of his affiliates.

Source: Cycling Weekly

Date: 16/04/2018

Updated: 19/11/2018

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