Sagan inks new deal with Bora-Hansgrohe on eve of world title defence

Three-time world champion unsure if he can take a fourth rainbow jersey

Peter Sagan confirmed he has agreed a new two-year contract with the Bora-Hansgrohe team on Friday evening after arriving in Austria for Sunday’s UCI Road World Championships road race.

Sagan's existing contract ends after the 2019 season, but under the new deal he will now race with the German-registered WorldTour team until the end of 2021.

“I’m very happy," Sagan said in the new Bora headquarters not far from Kufstein, where Sunday’s road race will start. "I have to say to thanks to the sponsors because you gave me your trust. I feel good in this team. I’m happy here. We have a good team and good group, so why not. 

“We can build something new every year. There’s no need to step back to teach people what I need and what I like. We have a good system here."

Bora-Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk has moved early to secure Sagan as team leader to avoid any transfer speculation and the risk of losing Sagan to a rival team. Both cooking extractor brand Bora and shower and tap producer Hansgrohe have already confirmed they will sponsor Denk’s team at least until 2021. Denk also confirmed that Juraj Sagan, Erik Baska, Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar and Marcus Burghardt will stay with the team until 2021.

“I’m really happy we can announce this early after two years of successfully working together," Denk said. "I think we achieved a lot already with the world title in Bergen, stage wins in the Tour de France and the biggest one-day victory at Paris-Roubaix. I’m proud of doing that with Peter.

“Peter is not only a Classics rider and he can perhaps ride the Giro d’Italia in the years ahead. He started racing in Italy and so he could go back there. He won some big Classics and he could soon target others such as Liege-Bastogne-Liege or even Lombardia. We’re looking forward to next three years and so thanks for your trust Peter.”

Sagan hinted he could ride the Giro d’Italia as soon as 2019 but pushed back on setting goals beyond finishing Sunday’s road race.

He has already raced for the last time in the rainbow jersey, and he is realistic about racing in Bora-Hansgrohe colours at least for one year.

“I’ve maybe had it long enough. I did three nice years in the rainbow jersey and did a lot of good things. It’d be nice that someone else can hold it for a year, so that I can recover,” he joked.

“To win this year I need a lot of comets and stars to align. Well see. It could be a lottery, but there’s a lot of climbs and so it’s difficult to win if you heavier than 65kg.

Asked what he needs to win, Sagan said: “Maybe more power. It’s going to be important to be at the front. If I’m at the back it just won’t matter. The final climb will be hard, especially after 250km and all the climbing before. The other climbs could be okay if we ride slow, but if we ride fast it’ll be painful.”

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