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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.