No regrets for Sagan despite Rio flop

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Peter Sagan claims he has no regrets over choosing to compete in Olympic mountain biking rather than the road race, despite failing to make an impact at Rio 2016.

Sagan suffered a puncture on the second lap of the event in August, leaving him unable to trouble the podium as Nino Schurter took gold ahead of Jaroslav Kulhavy and Carlos Coloma Nicolas.

It was a hugely disappointing outcome for the Slovak in an otherwise successful year, during which he retained the rainbow jersey as the road race world champion and won the Tour de France points classification for the fifth year in succession.

"You know, you have to choose either [mountain bike or road race]," he told Omnisport.

"I chose one and that was mountain bike and my mindset was ready for mountain bike. That's why I would not do the other. You can't regret anything or you'll live an awful life. If you took one decision, you have to follow that path. 

"Then, I believe that I was well prepared for mountain bike. I was a bit unlucky, but it was also my fault a bit. In mountain bike, it is always your fault if you have a puncture. You either risk something, or you hit a rock and you cut your wheel. So it's always your fault, unlike road racing. Mountain bike is like that.

"I had a good experience and I would never change it and think [I should have done the] road race, because that was my decision and for me it was nice and I was satisfied for this."

Disappointment in Brazil aside, Sagan's achievements on the road earned him the prestigious Velo d'Or cyclist of the year award, ahead of the likes of Grand Tour winners Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana, who claimed Le Tour, the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana respectively.  

"It always depends on whether you look more at the medals won at the Olympics or at the World Cup or at the Tour de France," he said of how the accolade is decided. 

"Every year everything changes in cycling, like in the World Cup because one year the path is quite flat, then there are ups and downs ... it's the same at the Olympics, but those take place every four years so it's a bit different. 

"Then there are the Classics, the Tour de France, so I don't know how I would assess the whole table in order to give a prize, but in the end for me it was a great year because I won both the World Cup and the UCI [points] ranking. 

"So that's the reason they decided to give it to me and I am very happy for this."