The Slovakian superstar endured COVID-19 over the winter. He is slowly getting back in form and put on an impressive show lately as he won stage six of the Volta a Catalunya. However, that might not be enough for the team manager Ralph Denk.
The 31-year-old Sagan joined Bora-Hansgrohe in 2017 and won 25 races together with three ŠKODA Green Jerseys at the Tour de France. Ralph Denk now questions the superstar’s future with the team. He lost the ŠKODA Green Jersey to Sam Bennett last year and with the rise of young stars such as Mathieu van der Poel or Wout van Aert, he might soon find himself pushed out of the job.
Ralph Denk seems to be tempted to reallocate Sagan’s generous pay, which is estimated between five and six million euros a year.
“Peter is entering the fall of his career,” Denk told the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger. “The outcome of our conversations is open. We would like to make the decision in April but I don’t dare say which way things are going. We are very grateful for what Peter has meant to us. The sponsors have received a lot of attention thanks to him but he will be entering the fall of his career.”
“We also have to consider whether we still want to pay for that or is it better to invest that money in youth? If Peter doesn’t stay, I have a lot of money available. The sponsors trust that I can put together the best possible team with the money.”
It was a hard but good @VoltaCatalunya and I'm happy to win a stage in my first participation. My form is getting better but it isn't where it should be. It's a motivation to keep working for the next goals! @BORAGmbH @Hansgrohe_PR @iamspecialized https://t.co/yOVxqX6AtZ
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) March 28, 2021
Ralph Denk named Bernal, van Aert, van der Poel, Tadej Pogačar and Julian Alaphilippe in the top five of the sport but does not believe he will move for them: “I would be a bad team boss if I didn’t want one of these superstars in the team but it has to be a fit. At the moment, I don’t see any of these with us in the near future because there are existing contracts or because the philosophy there doesn’t fit.”
“Maybe we’ll create our own star. That would be a cooler story. Maybe Lennard Kämna and Maximilian Schachmann are candidates for this role. They have already shown outstanding performances and they still have great potential. I will let myself be surprised.”
Do you believe Sagan will change teams soon? Where would you like to see him?