According to L’Equipe, Peter Sagan could be headed to Deceuninck-QuickStep next year after his Bora-Hansgrohe contract is up.
The three-time world champion is in the final year of his deal with Bora-Hansgrohe, having ridden for the German WorldTour outfit since 2017. Some reports have suggested that he is still talking to the squad about a possible extension, but a recent interview with Bora-Hansgrohe manager Ralph Denk in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger cast doubt on the likelihood of Sagan staying with the squad.
Should Sagan find himself in the market for a new team, L’Equipe reports that he may have a suitor in Deceuninck-QuickStep. According to the French newspaper, Sagan’s agent Giovanni Lombardi has suggested the deal, and Sagan’s ties to Specialized could be instrumental in making it happen.
The 31-year-old Slovakian has ridden on Specialized bikes for years, and his initial move to Bora-Hansgrohe came in conjunction with the arrival of Specialized as the team’s bike sponsor. Now that he could be hitting the open market again soon, the involvement of Specialized could again prove decisive in determining his destination.
Deceuninck-QuickStep has had to make hard decisions on which of its big names to re-sign in recent years, and on Tuesday, the team announced that it had signed Remco Evenepoel to the longest extension the team has ever signed. Even if Sagan signs for less than he is currently making, which is reportedly in the neighborhood of €5 million per year, his signing with Deceuninck-QuickStep would require a substantial boost in the team’s budget.
While it remains to be seen what Specialized has in mind for the future, the American bike brand could help provide financial backing for Sagan to make switch to Deceuninck-QuickStep, which already rides Specialized.
L’Equipe reports out that Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere has not always had the best relationship with Sagan’s agent, but the prospect of adding the three-time world champ to the squad remains an attractive one, particularly for a manager who has had success getting the best out of his stable of talented Classics riders in recent years.