After a 2015 season littered with runner-up finishes in major races, pointed criticism from Tinkoff owner Oleg Tinkov, but which ended with a remarkable world title, Sagan had a season to remember in 2016.
He converted just about every race he entered into a victory, with 13 wins, 10 of which came in WorldTour races over a season which started at the Tour de San Luis and ending with a world championship defence on 16 October in Qatar.
Those victories included the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, three stage wins at the Tour de France and two each at the Tour of California, Tour de Suisse and Eneco Tour.
“Finishing a season at the top of the UCI WorldTour ranking is, obviously, a great honour and gratification for any rider,” Sagan said.
“It’s the first time in my professional career that I attain this summit and I’m thrilled. It’s the culmination of a strong and consistent performance throughout the year, the combination of personal effort and support from the team and its partners.
“Sadly, I reach this pinnacle in my career on the day Tinkoff took part in its last WorldTour race ever (Giro di Lombardia). We are all sorry to see this great team disappear but we understand the decision taken by its owner Oleg Tinkov.
“I would like to thank everybody in the team, and especially Oleg, for these two great seasons that brought me success, including some of the world’s most coveted trophies and jerseys. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
With the demise of Tinkoff, he has signed on with new WorldTour outfit BORA-Hansgrohe for three years.
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