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.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.