Sagan won’t join Deceuninck-Quickstep

Peter Sagan in the points jersey in the Giro d'Italia

by José Been


Patrick Lefevere revealed in his weekly Het Nieuwsblad column that he won’t sign Peter Sagan. The Belgian team did however reach a new six-year deal with Specialized. Sagan comes with an entourage of riders and staff and Lefevere indicates he doesn’t want a team within the team. “I can’t unite that with our Wolfpack philosophy.” 

It’s not that Lefevere doesn’t believe in Sagan anymore, despite his being deemed by his current Bora-hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk as ‘past his prime’ and ‘earning too much money’.

“We have shown time and time again that we can get older riders back on track. I am convinced we would be able to do the same with Sagan,” Lefevere stated. 

The link between Sagan and Deceuninck-Quickstep comes through Specialized, the American bike brand paying a substantial part of Sagan’s salary. Deceuninck-Quickstep has been riding Specialized for many years and have renewed the contract until 2027. 

“Zdenek Bakala [main sponsor] and Mike Sinyard [CEO Specialized] went on a bike ride together and Zdenek liked the idea of signing Sagan. It all fit well but I stepped on the brakes. Sagan comes with his brother, Erik Baska, Daniel Oss and Maciej Bodnar, two mechanics, two soigneurs, a PR manager, a hospitality manager and a sports director. I don’t want a team within my team.” 

“Sagan’s manager Giovanni Lombardi indicated that that team of eleven could be altered but he just recently told me there was a team who would take the whole package. I read that’s Total-Direct Energie. I like Sagan for his loyalty in wanting to find places for the people around him but our cooperation will be for a next life.” 

Lefevere is working on his team for 2022 because many of the riders have contracts that end this year.

“I am not in a rush to sign new riders. I first talk with the current riders like Florian Senéchal, Mattia Cattaneo and Fabio Jakobsen and I have some talks scheduled in the Giro. Judging by my inbox our team is still very popular. Even riders who left are now in contact to return but I won’t name names. I take my time. At the end of the transfer season there are bargains and I like to have some budget left.”

Editors Picks