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The team announced Thursday that two of its marquee sprinters would not remain with the squad beyond their current contracts.
Sagan’s departure has been long rumored and he has been linked with several teams across the peloton. Most recently, the Slovakian former three-time world champion has been connected with a move to Team TotalEnergies.
According to a report in the Dutch media, Sagan would take riders Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar, Erik Baska, and his brother Juraj Sagan with him in any potential move.
“I would like to express my appreciation to Ralph Denk, Willi Bruckbauer, the team sponsors, all my teammates, and the entire staff of Bora-Hansgrohe for their support and their confidence in me during these five seasons,” Sagan said in a statement.
“We have achieved so many things and even in difficult times, we stuck together. I think that we weren’t just teammates, we were part of a big family. I have no doubt that the five seasons I spent in Bora-Hansgrohe were among the most prolific of my career and some of my most memorable moments happened during that period.”
A cycle is closing in my professional careerhttps://t.co/p3Xq1lBAoM
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) July 29, 2021
Change is a part of life
Sagan joined Bora-Hansgrohe in 2017 as part of a move that would see the team promoted to WorldTour level. During his time with the team, he won Paris-Roubaix, took a record seventh green jersey, and the Giro d’Italia’s ciclamino jersey.
After a difficult 2020, where he scored just one victory, and a disrupted start to 2021 following a COVID-19 diagnosis, Sagan enjoyed a strong opening half of the season. He took fourth at Milan-San Remo, won a stage of the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie, before going on to win a stage of the Giro d’Italia and the points classification.
Sagan had been hoping to continue his run of form at the Tour de France but injured his knee in a crash with Caleb Ewan on stage 3. He continued into the second week but eventually abandoned as his wounds became infected.
He had to undergo minor surgery on his knee and was forced to skip the Olympic Games.
“After a long and thorough discussion with my own management and under a mutual agreement with Bora-Hansgrohe, we came to the decision that it would be best if my cycle in the team came to a close and that a new chapter opened in my career,” he said. “Change is part of life and growth. I’m sure Bora-Hanagrohe will continue to be successful, and I wish them all the best in the coming seasons.”
Ackermann joined Bora-Hansgrohe in the same season as Sagan and has been one of its most consistent sprinters in recent years. However, a poor start to the year saw him miss selection for the Tour de France.
Ackermann criticized team manager Ralph Denk in the media after he was overlooked for a Tour de France spot, saying that he had gone back on his word. The 27-year-old sprinter competed at a number of smaller races during July, instead, and won stages of the Sibiu Cycling Tour and Settimana Ciclistica Italiana in recent weeks.
“I am very grateful for the time that I’ve spent with the team. It has been the most formative of my still-young career as a professional rider. I am particularly grateful that the team gave me the space to develop into a sprint captain,” Ackermann said.
“However, the career of a professional cyclist is limited. And during this time, I’d like to gain further experience and to continuously develop myself. That’s why I’ve decided to take a different path, a decision that was anything but easy for me. I would like to thank the entire team, but especially my teammates, who have always believed in me. I wish you all the very best.”
Sam Bennett has been linked with a return to the Bora-Hansgrohe team after leaving at the end of 2019.