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Peter Sagan could be headed to French squad TotalEnergies for 2022 and beyond.
On Tuesday Dutch journalist Raymond Kerckhoffs of cycling website Wielerflits.nl published an explosive report linking Sagan to the French team for the 2022 season. According to Kerckhoffs, multiple sources have confirmed that Sagan will bring his core of staff and support riders to the French team, along with his longtime bike sponsor, Specialized. According to the report, the deal would see riders Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar, Erik Baska, and Juraj Sagan all make the move as well.
The report is the first major development in a story that’s developed throughout 2021. Sagan has raced with Bora-Hansgrohe since the 2017 season, and his deal with the German squad is up at the end of the season. Heading into the 2021 Tour de France, Sagan’s future with Bora-Hansgrohe was a simmering story in the cycling world.
Should the move take place it would mark a new chapter in Sagan’s storied history in pro cycling. Sagan joined the WorldTour with Italian squad Liquigas in 2010 and spent the first five seasons with the squad, and during that time he blossomed into the most exciting and explosive rider in the peloton, capable of winning bunch sprints, hilly stages, and even mountaintop finishes.
Sagan then joined Tinkoff-Saxo, where he was aligned with Specialized, and the partnership with the bike brand gave Sagan more leverage to choose his own pathway in the topsy turvy world of WorldTour cycling.
AFter Tinkoff folded at the end of 2016 Sagan joined the German Pro Continental outfit Bora-Argon 18, and he brought along his bike sponsor, personal entourage, and lineup of support riders to the German squad, which was renamed Bora-Hansgrohe. That deal made Sagan one of the highest paid riders in the WorldTour, with an estimated annual salary at 5 million Euro.
Cracks began to emerge between Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe boss Ralph Denk earlier this season, and in late March reports circulated that Sagan had fallen out of favor with Bora-Hansgrohe. Further reports linked Sagan to Deceuninck-Quick-Step for 2022, as the Belgian team also uses Specialized bikes and equipment.
Denk shot down those reports in early April, saying that the team was working with Sagan to renew his deal with the squad for 2022 and beyond. But Bora-Hansgrohe and Sagan have not released any statements about the negotiation since those initial stories broke.
Team TotalEnergies is a UCI Pro Road Team (formerly Pro Continental) squad that has long been a contender at the Tour de France, and a stalwart of French cycling. It’s current lineup includes Edvald Boasson Hagen, Niki Terpstra, and Pierre Latour, among other top riders. The team was previously known by its old title sponsors, Team Europecar, Team Bouygues Telecom, Brioches La Boulangère, and Team Bonjour. Over its history the team has been the squad of Thomas Voeckler, Sylvain Chavanel, Pierre Rolland, and other French greats.
The story is developing.