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Sagan to Bora and other 2017 deals inked

Peter Sagan signs a three-year deal with German team Bora, confirming a month of speculation about cycling's biggest superstar.

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MILAN (VN) — World champion Peter Sagan will give Bora – Hansgrohe the added punch needed to join the WorldTour in 2017, as the team announced his new contract Monday.

The German team currently races as Bora – Argon 18 in the Professional Continental division and wants to join the first division or WorldTour in 2017. With Sagan’s new three-year deal, it should be possible. This confirms a month of anticipation which began the week prior to the Tour de France.

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The UCI will announce the 2017 WorldTour teams later this year in November or December. Teams Tinkoff and IAM Cycling are closing and leaving their spots.

“Since we started our sponsorship in cycling our objective was to get to the top of this sport,” said Willi Bruckbauer, owner of Bora. “Peter will help us to achieve this goal.

“He is a real star, who achieved almost everything in cycling by being focused, dedicated, and by believing in himself. At Bora we share this approach, self-belief helped us to get to where we stand now. And we are proud to go the next steps together with him.”

Sagan enjoyed his best season to date by winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen in the rainbow jersey, as well as three stages and his fifth green jersey in the Tour de France.

VeloNews anticipated 2017’s biggest market move in late June. Sagan needed a new team with Tinkoff closing after Russian owner Oleg decided to leave the cycling business.

Sagan had a three-year contract with Tinkoff that ran through 2017, but went searching for a new team earlier than planned. He had been linked to Etixx – Quick-Step and Astana and had been asking for a reported €6 million ($6.7 million). It is likely he will earn around €4 million ($4.47 million) with Bora.

Specialized helped make the deal happen with Bora, which currently uses Argon 18 bicycles. As with Sagan and kitchen companies Bora and Hansgrohe, the American bike company also signed a three-year deal.

Sagan brings 445 WorldTour or 3,233 World Ranking points to Bora, a number that should please the UCI license commission as it reviews applications for 2017. A new team from Bahrain with Vincenzo Nibali at the helm is also asking for a license.

Sagan is bringing with him Tinkoff cyclists Juraj Sagan, Maciej Bodnar, Michael Kolar, Erik Baska, and Rafal Majka, although the team has yet to confirm the latter. Sources also indicate they will be joined by Tony Martin, now with Etixx – Quick-Step, and Leopold König, who went to Sky after placing seventh in the 2014 Tour de France with Bora, then NetApp – Endura.

UCI rules say that teams may only sign riders starting August 1. Many already have deals in place and waited until Monday to make the announcements. The Tinkoff diaspora seems to be well underway

Australian WorldTour team Orica – BikeExchange announced Roman Kreuziger, also currently with Tinkoff, will join for the next two seasons. Team Astana welcomed current Tinkoff cyclists Oscar Gatto, Jesper Hansen, and Michael Valgren. It also hired Moreno Moser, currently with team Cannondale.

Nicolas Roche will leave Sky to support Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen at BMC Racing. “I’m super excited because BMC Racing Team is a team that rides with a lot of the characteristics that I like,” Roche said in a statement. “They’re always up the front, riding with aggression and trying to make an exciting race. I think I’ll enjoy the aggressive style of racing.”

Spaniard J.J. Lobato will leave Movistar to join LottoNL – Jumbo in the coming season. “I felt that I needed a change for 2017 and to sign for a Dutch team is important in the development of my skills in the sprints and classics,” he said.

Some teams are still waiting to announce contracts. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and John Degenkolb (Giant – Alpecin) will join Trek – Segafredo, and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) the new Bahrain project.