Team Liquigas rider Peter Sagan won stage three of the 2012 Tour de France, simulating a little dance as he crossed the finish line.
Inspired by the film Forrest Gump, Sagan said his teammates helped create the idea of a Forrest Gump-type of celebration (via Team Liquigas website):
The other evening my teammates and I decided that if I won again, I’d do it like Forrest Gump: when they told him to run, he ran; when they tell me to win, I win. I like doing something that makes people smile. When I watch sport on the TV, I’ve always liked it when someone adds a touch of fun to their victories, like Valentino Rossi does. Now that I’m winning, I try to do the same thing.
Some riders apparently aren’t a big fan of Sagan’s finish line antics, such as Team RadioShack-Nissan rider Robbie Hunter:
Great win by Sagan again he, is class!but can't say I enjoy his victory salutes in the face of his competitors!— Robbie Hunter (@RobbieHunter) July 3, 2012
Meanwhile, Team Garmin-Sharp’s David Millar believes it’s all just a growing pain for Sagan and reminds fans about the young sprinter's age:
Totally for Sagan and his crazy salutes, he's 22, he's got plenty of time to grow old and dignified.— David Millar (@millarmind) July 3, 2012
Teammate Ivan Basso, who was at the front of the peloton towards the end of the stage, appreciates the young rider’s enthusiasm:
Special atmosphere at Liquigas-Cannondale's home. with the beautiful crazy of Sagan & co I discover a younger Ivan. IB— ivanbasso(@ivanbasso) July 3, 2012
If some riders don’t like it, then it’s up to the peloton to out-sprint him when the finish line quickly approaches.
I don’t have a problem with his antics. Despite seeming a bit cocky, it looks like he’s just trying to have a bit of fun when he crosses the finish line. Remember, he’s picking up victories in the grandest race of pro cycling, and he is just 22 years old.
This was the second stage win for Sagan out of three chances, and it looks like his confidence is growing significantly.
He'll have to prove he can sprint with the pure power sprinters, such as Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel—today's stage wasn't the ideal type of sprint for them, as they're waiting for a much flatter, faster finish.