Peter Sagan ended the third chapter of a successful career on Sunday. On the North French rough peacocks said goodbye to Bore-Hansgrohe. The team that got back on its feet in five seasons.
An incredible 341 racing days, a number of fights, which resulted in 28 victories. Such is the business card of the Slovak Tourminator. After transferring to a German stable, he was proud of these attributes: the best, the funniest, the most entwined, the best paid.
So how will fans remember the Sagan-Bora connection?
Rather positive. Although the number of triumphs, the star Slovak did not follow up on previous engagements in Saxo-Tinkoff or in the Italian Liquigas (later Cannondale), the German adventure was also more about joys than worries. Two green jerseys at the Tour de France or the winning Paris-Roubaix 2018 were really worth it. At the same time, starting in the then new jersey was not easy at all. Sagana was incomprehensibly excluded from the 2017 Tour by the organizers.
When we approached Bory boss Ralph Denek a year later, he had only words of praise for his rocket and appreciated its contribution.
“It is almost impossible to describe. Of course, the quality of our stable went up after Peter’s arrival. In the team with him, we can think in the WorldTour series of races – and we also achieve – results comparable to the competition. Our sponsors are also satisfied with the performance. But it’s not just about numbers. Having a character of his type in the team is also positive for the image of our group, “he thought for Pravda.
When asked if the investment in Sagan turned out to be the right one, he had a clear answer: “I will be very brief here – Peter is the best investment in the peloton.”
He cooked and took a shower
We remind you that Sagan was the best earning racer in the world at that time. The number was never officially heard, but apparently Žilina residents received almost six million euros a year. More than the legend of Old Lady Christopher Froome in the Sky.
He – of course – returned the team not only with a great ride, but also with many marketing activities. Bora and Hansgrohe are renowned German brands that focus on the production of hoods, respectively. sanitary fittings. And so the champion in advertising cooked and showered.
“She is also like a real rock star at the races. I’ve seen more than one woman with tears in her eyes, and all I had to do was see Sagan live. It happened to me that one of them hit me in the head. And the reason? I was in view of her while photographing, “confirmed Karen Edwards, an Irish photographer, after Paris-Roubaix 2018.
Sagan was a benefit for Bor in every way…
“The truth is that the German sponsors didn’t want to do much at first. However, Willy Bruckbauer is a big enthusiast and Bora was a relatively small company that wanted to expand worldwide. But other donors did not join the team. Only after Sagan, “reminds Lukáš Timko, a cycling expert.
The Czech Jan Bárta also spent the first season in the new team alongside Sagan. He evaluated his contribution after five years as follows: “It was huge. No debate. The mere fact that he became the world champion in their jersey helped them a lot. When you have a rider who wins stages at Grand Tours, one-offs and then the world championship, it in itself takes the stable to a new level. “Read more The Sagans stood up with bloody eyes. Roubaix is a massacre
From divine fashion
The period he spent with his brother Juraj in a German stable can be divided into two stages. Before and after Covide. The first was more successful and Sagan won most of it. He finished it with a triumph in the 5th stage at the Tour de France 2019. Then Covid came and the three-time world champion waited for the victory for a long 461 days. He had never had such a long break before.
At the beginning of the 2021 season, the virus itself overcame and triumphs were only sporadic. Doubts arose.
“Only what had to happen happened in Bor. The decline of form came. True, there were some falls, then he was knocked down by a coronavirus. However, the last two seasons have not been entirely successful. When they extended his contract with him for another two years in 2018, they also wanted to attack with him the more hilly classics – Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Around Lombardy. However, it turned out that this is no longer realistic. Its performance has declined and in the hills it would only be a nuisance, “recalls Timko.
We also asked Leopold König, the former Czech star Bory, about the decline. He was not only brief, but above all concise. “Basically, nothing happens – Sagan just goes back from divine to human fashion. A competitor who also has weaker days, “he added.
Not the best
It is certain that Bora-Hansgrohe negotiated an extension of the contract with Sagan anyway. Of course, now under different conditions. In addition to cutting money, the wide staff of people around them during their careers could also be a problem. They did not find an agreement and so they parted ways.
“Boru got on the bike map. Today I can do it without him. Five years ago, however, it was unimaginable. They wouldn’t have a chance, “Timko thinks. The past five years have been good, but Sagan said he had better periods before.
“He had huge successes in each team, but he was most successful when he rode for the Italians. In the 2013 and 2014 seasons, he won where he could. That was incredible. Although he did not have the title of world champion or monument, they came only after that, but given the quantity and the scandal around him, it was perhaps the best time, “he recalls, adding that he was at the peak of his strength at Around Flanders 2016 Olega Tiňkova.
Sagan now faces a new challenge. It’s called TotalEnergies. For the first time, he will race for a team that has no place among the elite. However, it is more than certain that the star name will be an invitation to all elite events.Read more Sagana doesn’t have to beg anymore. I’ve matured, says the second matador forever
“The question is how they will accommodate his arrival there. TotalEnergies boss Jean-René Bernaudeau told the local media that the French race organizers deserved a huge name like Peter Sagan to come to their races and do a show there. However, he meant lower-ranking events, “recalls Timko.
Sagan’s usual calendar, which mostly revolved around spring classics, the Tour de France and the World Championships, may change. It may be prepared for big events differently and differently than before.
“We will see if he builds the itinerary he has had so far and will go after the biggest races, or include smaller ones – for example, for 4 days in Dunkirk or the Tour du Doubs, where they will want victories from him. Bora was focused absolutely internationally, but TotalEnergies may have other ambitions. In addition to the Tour, let’s say Paris-Nice and other domestic events, “he recalls.
According to him, the support of the team will be important. “We know that they had a problem with that in Bor and it must be said that TotalEnergies is even weaker in this respect,” adds Timko.Read more Farewell hug with Denko. Sagan gave Bore emotional words
They will love him
The expectations are high. In French cycling, Sagan’s arrival in one of the smaller teams is said to have caused him a lot. According to renowned journalist Jean-Luc Gatellier from the sports daily L’Équipe, Slovaks will now also be a darling of French crowds.
“Do you still remember American Greg LeMond?” In the best years, he raced for the French groups Renault, La Vie Claire, Z-Tomasso. The French loved him at the time. Believe me, it will be similar with Sagan, “he claims.
And that a star in the best shape no longer comes to TotalEnergies? They also know about it in the cradle of cycling, but there is one big thing!
“Sagan has not yet retired. He has what it takes to do something big in the future. For example, the fourth title of world champion. However, his triumphs are likely to be more sporadic than ever. After all, it’s been going on for two seasons. Bernaudeau used to say that a cyclist would start to fall after thirty-five. Let’s not forget that Peter has been in full permanence since he was twenty. In his situation, I can hardly imagine that he will be at the top for another four years, “added Gatellier.
Sagan scored on Sunday after five years in Bor. Now he has a long time off, the contract with the new team will come into force on January 1. “It simply came to our notice then. To keep things running smoothly and well. And for Peter to show everyone how strong he can be, “wishes sports director Ján Valach, who is transferring together with his trustee. “To kill him properly at least once more,” adds Peter Zánický, the first coach of the Slovak champion.
Sagan will soon begin the fourth chapter of his career. Apparently the last one.
Source: Pravda – Šport – Futbal – Hokej by sport.pravda.sk.
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