Peter Sagan heading for Fernando Alonso’s team, says Oleg Tinkov

Slovak rider out of contract at end of season and had been linked with Tinkoff Saxo

by Simon_MacMichael   August 6, 2014  

Peter Sagan 2nd in 2013 Strade Bianche (c) Gian Mattia D'Alberto, LaPresse, RCS Sport

Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov has denied reports that Peter Sagan is to join his team for the 2015 season and says he believes he is heading to the team being put together by Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso – although given the quirky nature of many of his tweets, it may be worth taking any messages on the social network with a pinch of salt.

The Russian entrepreneur made his statement on Twitter yesterday evening, contradicting a report yesterday from Slovak daily, Sport. He said: “I have to announce that we did not sign Peter Sagan. i believe he goes to Alonso team.”

The newspaper had said that Sagan would be unveiled as Tinkoff-Saxo’s latest signing after tomorrow’s Stage 5 of the Tour of Poland, which makes an excursion into Slovakia to finish at the Štrbské Pleso ski resort.

On Friday, Tinkov himself had strongly hinted he was about to sign Sagan, tweeting: “Dear @tinkoff_saxo fans, do you want me to close the deal with Peter Sagan? If i get 1000 retweets, i will do it!”

As it was, he got well over 2,500 – but it seems no contract has been forthcoming.

If Sagan is indeed heading to Alonso’s proposed team, it will not be confirmed for some time.

Last week, the project’s general manager, Luis García-Abad, said it would not sign anyone until it had secured a UCI WorldTour licence for 2015.

The licence was applied for ahead of the 1 August deadline, but the UCI will not be announcing which teams have secured them for 2105 until October.

Sagan himself has been linked with several teams in recent months with his contract expiring at the end of this season and his existing team believed to be merging with Garmin-Sharp.

Despite winning the points classification in the Tour de France for the third season in a row, the Cannondale rider has had a largely frustrating year to date.

In the Spring Classics, he won the E3 Harelbeke, but after finishing second in both the Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo last year he was out of the podium places at both this time round, although he did come third at Gent-Wevelgem.

While he notched up stage wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and at the Tour de Suisse, he drew a blank at the Tour de France, on four stages beaten into second place, much to his chagrin.

Cycling fans in Britain will get another chance to see 24-year-old in action this weekend – he is one of the star names set to take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.

7 user comments

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seems a dodgy strategy, if you wait too long the money will have gone and you could find yourself without a team, and how do the UCI grant licences, I thought it was in part on performance, so a new team with no history?

PS, would they really be sorting out riders for 2105? bit of forward planning?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1117 posts]
6th August 2014 - 12:57

22 Likes

I think saying Sagan drew a blank at the Tour is a tad on the harsh side. He may not have got a stage win but he was in green and getting on the podium all the way to Paris, something I'd imagine is very appealing to sponsors.

posted by farrell [1457 posts]
6th August 2014 - 14:29

18 Likes

mrmo wrote:
how do the UCI grant licences

I heard the rumor that your ushered blindfold into a darkened room and then have to kiss the ring (literally) of Brian Cookson... sort of like a scene from film except with Lancashire accents.

posted by leqin [108 posts]
6th August 2014 - 15:42

10 Likes

farrell wrote:
I think saying Sagan drew a blank at the Tour is a tad on the harsh side. He may not have got a stage win but he was in green and getting on the podium all the way to Paris, something I'd imagine is very appealing to sponsors.

I don't think it's too harsh; Sagan himself sees it this way too. I think sponsors ultimately really want a photo they can use of a triumphant Sagan punching the air/wheelying/saluting/what ever celebration he does for marketing purposes. A man wearing a green top is great, but it's not nearly as exciting.

posted by giobox [284 posts]
6th August 2014 - 15:59

20 Likes

What kind of idiot would sign for a non existant team, in the hope of actually riding some races next season??

posted by TheDoctor [78 posts]
6th August 2014 - 17:01

8 Likes

TheDoctor wrote:
What kind of idiot would sign for a non existant team, in the hope of actually riding some races next season??

Plenty went to sky/OGE that at this stage of a season was still non existent.

mrmo wrote:
seems a dodgy strategy, if you wait too long the money will have gone and you could find yourself without a team, and how do the UCI grant licences, I thought it was in part on performance, so a new team with no history?

PS, would they really be sorting out riders for 2105? bit of forward planning?

Sky/OGE got one first season, nothing to stop Alsonso getting one for his team this year

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [402 posts]
6th August 2014 - 17:24

8 Likes

glynr36 wrote:
Sky/OGE got one first season, nothing to stop Alsonso getting one for his team this year

Exactly. And with teams folding left right and centre, I think there were only 17 applications for 18 licenses, so provided they meet the financial criteria it's unlikely they'll be refused.

posted by step-hent [683 posts]
7th August 2014 - 12:25

6 Likes