FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Three-time world champion Peter Sagan could soon renew his contract with Bora-Hansgrohe.
Sagan’s contract runs through 2019, but the German WorldTour team is working to secure him beyond next season given his abilities and marketing capabilities.
“We and our sponsors, of course, would like to keep Peter,” team boss Ralph Denk told the Belga news agency. “We are currently in discussion, with no deadline in sight. We still have time.”
Deals are usually signed midway through the season. Agents will advertise their riders before the Tour de France or during, and teams will shop.
Given Sagan’s status – this year winning Paris-Roubaix and a sixth Tour de France green jersey – the team does not want to wait too long. Sagan has everything he needs at Bora-Hansgrohe, but the more time passes, the more rival offers could arrive and the more questions could circulate.
Denk said, “He’s the champion with the greatest charisma in cycling.”
Team Sky, similarly not wanting to let Chris Froome slip away, re-signed him in 2017 well before his contract expired at the end of 2018.
Keeping Sagan will not come cheap for Bora-Hansgrohe. Sagan continues to offer plenty of return on the road and off it in terms of marketing potential for the two German brands Bora and Hansgrohe, and Specialized bicycles.
Froome earns around £4 ($5.29) million. This year’s Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas signed a deal for around £3.5 ($4.63) million. Sagan is one of the top paid cyclists, too; when the 28-year-old Slovakian signed for Bora-Hansgrohe ahead of the 2017 season, insiders estimated his contract at €4 ($4.7) million.
“But money is not decisive,” Denk said. “For Peter too, money is not in the first consideration.”
Sagan and the team just pushed through the Vuelta a España, where Sagan tried to win another time in the rainbow jersey before next weekend’s world championship road race in Innsbruck, Austria. He was unsuccessful. He placed second four times, including in the final Madrid stage behind Elia Vivani (Quick-Step Floors).
Sagan will hope the Vuelta has left him ready to contend for a fourth world title. However, the Innsbruck course appears too much for Sagan with its 5,000 meters of climbing.
“It is very hard for me,” Sagan said. “I go there more to be a presence and to wear the Slovakian jersey. I owe it to my country. Let’s see what happens, but I do not go there with hope.”
“He’s certainly at a disadvantage on the mountainous course with his body weight of almost 80 kilograms,” Denk added.
“But you never know with Peter.”