Peter Sagan repeated as world road race champion, edging British star Mark Cavendish in a sprint in Doha on Sunday.
The Slovakian Sagan became the first man to repeat since Italy’s 2004 Olympic champion Paolo Bettini in 2006 and 2007.
“I don’t believe it,” Sagan said several minutes after the finish. “I am still in shock.”
Sagan, Cavendish and third-place Tom Boonen of Belgium, all past world champions, led 12 riders with the same finishing time of 5 hours, 40 minutes, 43 seconds, after 160 miles.
Eritrean Natnael Berhane placed 13th, four seconds behind. The top American was three-time Olympian Taylor Phinney in 43rd, 5:26 back. Full results are here. A race replay is here.
Sagan, 26, captured the green sprinter’s jersey at each of the last five Tours de France, totaling seven individual stage wins. Only German Erik Zabel has won more green jerseys, his six straight from 1996 through 2001.
Sagan raced only the mountain bike event at the Rio Olympics, puncturing a tire, getting lapped and finishing 35th. He said he planned to celebrate his title Sunday with a party, perhaps to a later hour than last year, when he took the title in Richmond, Va.
“Last time in America, they close everything at 12,” Sagan said.
The 2017 World Road Cycling Championships will be Sept. 16-24 in Bergen, Norway.
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