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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.