Sagan announced last week that he would take time out from altitude training in the US to ride the 100-mile event at Unbound.
The Slovakian hasn’t raced on the road since early April as he took time out to recover from symptoms of long COVID. He has been in the United States in recent weeks training at altitude in Utah to prepare for the Tour de France.
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“When I was invited by Specialized to take part in the Unbound Gravel together with them, I really didn’t have to think twice,” Sagan said in a message sent to VeloNews earlier this week.
“Although I’m not familiar with gravel racing, it is something that has always intrigued me, and to do it here in the USA and in one of the top events was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.”
Sagan and his TotalEnergies teammate Daniel Oss will be racing in Emporia, Kansas on the newest S-Works Crux, a bike that Specialized dubs the “world’s lightest gravel bike.”
Peter Sagan will ride the ultra-light Crux for his gravel debut.
Sagan has opted for Shimano GRX 11-42 gearing with a 1x42T chainring for his gravel debut. A 1:1 gear ratio should be plenty on the low end for the pro who’s been known to be present on hilly stages in races.
The Crux has three bottle cage mounts, two where you’d expect and another under the downtube. In a shakeup for the three-time world champion who’s used to having a mechanic swoop in with a new wheel within moments of a puncture, Unbound requires riders to be self sufficient, hence the red Dynaplug Racer tire plug tool on the downtube.
The Crux comes equipped with Specialized Pathfinder Pro tires.
Sagan’s Crux is fitted with Shimano GRX brakes and Roval Terra CLX wheels.
Sagan has gone with the tried and tested Pathfinder tires to hold up against the notoriously puncture inducing Flint Hills roads.
Sagan will ride with an S-Works Romin EVO saddle.
Derived from the same tech that created Specialized’s featherweight Aethos road bike, the Crux is the lightest gravel bike on the market. The Roval Terra carbon handlebar helps keep weight low.
The Crux can also be used as a cyclocross bike, though Sagan’s yet to branch out into that discipline.