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Peter Sagan wins World Championships road race for first time

Peter Sagan

Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo (R) poses for photographs after the 10th edition of the ‘Profronde van Lommel’ cycling race, on July 29, 2015 in Lommel. The contest is a part of the traditional ‘criteriums’, local races in which mainly cyclists who rode the Tour de France compete. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / JASPER JACOBS (Photo credit should read JASPER JACOBS/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Peter Sagan added a World Championship in the road race to his résumé of four Tour de France points classification titles, becoming the first Slovakian to claim elite individual gold at a Road Cycling Worlds on Sunday.

“It’s the biggest victory,” Sagan said.

Sagan, 25, made a move in the final two miles after more than 150 miles of racing on the Richmond, Va., course, and won by three seconds over a large group.

“Race was very strange,” Sagan told the crowd in an interview. “Today I was just waiting, waiting. I did just one attack, and it was, I think, the right attack.”

Australian Michael Matthews was second, followed by Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas in third.

Alex Howes was in that pack in 12th, finishing as the top American. Full results are here.

Sagan has entered four Tours de France and won the green jersey in all of them as the top sprinter, amassing four individual stage wins along the way. He also owns four Vuelta a Espana stage wins.

He was 34th in his Olympic debut at the London 2012 road race. Sagan, whose World title means he will wear a rainbow jersey, said he proved wrong those who doubted his ability to win outside of a sprint.

“I saw also a lot of comments, like the people, I am not good for the long race and this, but, yeah, now I have this jersey, and I hold it for all next year,” Sagan said.

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