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Slovak sprinter inks three-year deal with team of Oleg Tinkov and Bjarne Riis

Peter Sagan has signed a three-year contract with the Tinkoff-Saxo team, the squad announced this morning. The move ends weeks of speculation that has seen team owner Oleg Tinkov deliberately messing with fans' and journalists on social media.

Team manager Bjarne Riis said in a statement: "Peter is without doubt one of the biggest talents in cycling and one of the biggest names already. He has a winning mentality, he’s visible and active in the finales and he, without doubt, has the ability to bring home victories.”

Riis hinted that the team will be fully behind the 24-year-old Slovak who this year won the Tour de France points jersey without actually winning any stages.

Riis said: "I believe he has even more potential than what we’ve seen so far. He still has a lot to learn about the tactical aspects of cycling to fully optimize his power but I believe that we are fully able to help him improve even more. Next year, we’ll have a very strong team to support him and to aim for big wins throughout the season.”

Oleg Tinkov added: “Peter Sagan is a great rider and it is my honor to have him on our team. I believe that Tinkoff-Saxo is the best team for Peter and I’m absolutely sure that he’ll win many races with us. I am excited.”,

On Tuesday, the team owner claimed he had not in fact signed Sagan, saying on Twitter: “I have to announce that we did not sign Peter Sagan. i believe he goes to Alonso team.”

He had previously 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!”

He got well over 2,500 and it now seems the mercurial brewer-turned-banker was just having a bit of fun with us, the little Tinkov.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

13 comments

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notfastenough [3665 posts] 1 year ago
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You never know whether he's serious on twitter. I wonder if he's as difficult to assess in person as on social media.

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russwparkin [45 posts] 1 year ago
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@notfastenough

i just see him as the flavio briatore of cycling, just a really eccentric honest guy.
probably awesome to go and have a few ciders with.
i sort of hated the saxo team previously but i think hes swaying my opinion on them, they seem a bit better than most teams at the social media and what the teams do etc

orica do it but i think they have overdone the cheese a bit to much.

i will say though a shame to see sagan on a specialneedz, fingers crossed saxo get a decent bike sponsor next year.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 1 year ago
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russwparkin wrote:

i just see him as the flavio briatore of cycling, just a really eccentric honest guy.
probably awesome to go and have a few ciders with.
i sort of hated the saxo team previously but i think hes swaying my opinion on them, they seem a bit better than most teams at the social media and what the teams do etc

He's just a car crash tweeter, makes an ass of himself, but also doesn't really care and isn't afraid to rock the boat with anyone. Just have to him with a pinch of salt.

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i will say though a shame to see sagan on a specialneedz, fingers crossed saxo get a decent bike sponsor next year.

Unless contador is going elsewhere, they'll be on Specialized as he has a personal deal with them.

I think it's a bad move for Sagan, he won't get support in a GT, and I don't think the team has the horsepower type riders to support him in the classics.

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JeevesBath [164 posts] 1 year ago
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"..team owner Oleg Tinkov deliberately messing with fans' and journalists on social media."

What the f*** else is social media for? 20 billion trolls can't be wrong....  29

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ct [158 posts] 1 year ago
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Bertie to Alonso's team then?

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djpalmer32 [77 posts] 1 year ago
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russwparkin wrote:

@notfastenough

i just see him as the flavio briatore of cycling, just a really eccentric honest guy.
.

Flavio Briatore honest  24 !!!!!

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Colin Peyresourde [1675 posts] 1 year ago
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All aboard for the dope train!

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DrDave [10 posts] 1 year ago
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"help him to improve". Hah hah, who is he kidding with this. Yeah, go on Riis, Sagan would be loads better full of the good stuff. And don't worry, CrackoneOff will just sue the UCI if they dare to suggest you are a massive cheat, so no worries.

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stealth [254 posts] 1 year ago
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I think that it is a good move both for Sagan & the Team. The one thing that they were obviously missing was a decent sprinter, meanwhile, Sagan can look after himself in the sprints & seems to make a reasonable job of it...
It does leave the Cannondale team very empty though, are they packing up?

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Johnny25 [34 posts] 1 year ago
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Yep, they appear to be throwing the towel in. Could possibly be linking up with the soon to be defunct Garmin team and forming a new setup. I hope the bikes find a team for next year, as they are some of the very best currently around. Good luck to Sagan. He ultimately seems to have gone where the money is. And why not? You're only at the top for a few years.

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Super Domestique [1596 posts] 1 year ago
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Didn't Sagan ride Spesh in his early mtb days? So it might not be much of an issue to him.

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J90 [309 posts] 1 year ago
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He's gone to a better team, good choice. Tinkoff Saxo needed a Puncheur, he'll be their classics rider. Easily one of my favourite teams now.

About the bike manufacturer, Sagans sponsorship with Cannondale is very strong, let's see if it's stronger than Contador's and Specialized's partnership.

Shame about Roman Kreuziger, I thought he looked like a machine at the tour of the Basque country, I wonder if he was on something then....

Oleg Tinkov is a legend though. I do wonder why the team is called Tinkoff and not Tinkov though?

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WolfieSmith [1314 posts] 1 year ago
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'Off' is the old Prussian/German version of 'ov'. Judging by Tinkoff's website, complete with coat of arms, Tinkoff is branded to seem more like a venerable, trustworthy Teutonic financial company - rather than a Russian finance company owned by a middle aged bloke who likes to lead training rides with his own pro team.

I can't wait to see the butterfly of irrepressible charisma that is Sagan meet the cold dead fly swat of charm that is Riis.  29