Nine participations, seven green jerseys, disqualification and second place. Will it see its tenth anniversary this year? He doesn’t know either.
It is certain that a season full of peaks awaits Petr Sagan. Spring classics, Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Olympics and world championship. The program is rich, but you can’t do everything.
“I still know the plan by mid-April. We’ll see what happens next. There are several possibilities, “says the Slovak cycling superstar.
Fight for the rainbow jersey in Flanders
Although this year’s itinerary is not as inflated as last year, it will probably be impossible for Sagan to complete all the events mentioned. In addition, it is in a different position compared to previous seasons.
It’s all about the Tour.
The Žilina speedboat no longer has a 100% place in the line-up for two reasons. On the one hand, the German rocket Pascal Ackermann is waiting in reserve, and on the other hand, the contract is a contract.
Sagan’s current contract with Bora-Hansgrohe expires at the end of the year. In the profipeloton, it is true that the continuation of cooperation or transfers to other teams are negotiated before the flight.
The equation is simple – without an agreement on a new contract, Bor Slovák will not take the Tour. The old lady is a big brand, what to take a cyclist who is leaving the team?
Ineos did something similar last year. He left Chris Froom at home, who already had a contract with the Israel Start-up Nation in his pocket.
“I am satisfied in Bor. Send a question about the new contract to (stall manager) Ralph Denko or my manager Giovanni Lombradi. I’m in charge of the competition, “Sagan responded in an online interview with foreign media.
This year, in addition to the classics and the Grand Tour, he is also attracted to the Olympics and the World Championships. Although the track in Tokyo is not entirely to his liking, he will once again be among the favorites in the fight for the rainbow jersey.
The world championship will take place in Flanders and the tracks known from the spring classics are perfect for Sagan.
“The races in Tokyo will be more of a lottery. I’m not going to say I’m going to win the Olympics. We’ll see what happens. The profile of the track at the World Championships should suit me. I want to prepare as best I can, “he added.
Eight chances for spoilers
Bory’s leadership, led by Denko, will not be satisfied if the situation from the Lana Tour is repeated. Sagan failed to win the stage triumph and his green jersey was blown by his former teammate Sam Bennett.
Therefore, the German stable has prepared an alternative with the domestic favorite Ackermann. The winner of the scoring at the Giro 2019 last year, despite the district program, achieved eight triumphs and confirmed that he is one of the fastest riders in the peloton.
“I believe that this year I will see the premiere on the Tour. However, someone else decides on the race. It will be important what form I will show during the spring program, “says the confident German.
This year’s Tour will offer eight opportunities for mass trips. Unlike Sagan, Ackermann is a classic spiller, which could be an advantage in a possible micro-fight for a place.
“We leave all the doors open. It may happen that we take one, the other or even both. They are on the 14-member list, the selected eight will go on the Tour. Spots will be important in France this year. We will see what the results in the spring race will show us, “Denk emphasizes.
Sagan is accustomed to the position of spurt leader Bory on the Tour and would not like to give up the privileges of a protected rider. This is also evidenced by the reaction to the question of whether he can imagine the French cooperation with Ackermann.
“We still have a pandemic here, the race calendar may change – mine and Pascal’s. If the Tour went according to plan? I won’t answer this question – because “if” it doesn’t exist in real life, “Sagan said.
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