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Race director Giovanni Lombardi and Peter Sagan
No agreement reached according to Lombardi
Peter Sagan’s agent Giovanni Lombardi has denied that the Slovak has reached an agreement to ride for Tinkoff-Saxo in 2015 and said that negotiations regarding his future have been postponed until after the Spring Classics.
On Thursday, Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Sagan, who is in the final year of his contract with Cannondale Pro Cycling, had agreed a deal with Tinkoff-Saxo for next season. It was also reported that Cannondale could follow Sagan to Oleg Tinkov’s team as bike supplier and possibly as a replacement sub-sponsor for Saxo Bank.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, however, Lombardi insisted that no decision has yet been taken regarding Sagan’s team for 2015 and said that all talks have been suspended until after Paris-Roubaix.
"Regarding the news that appeared on some organs of the press recently involving my client Peter Sagan, I find it necessary to point out that no agreement has been reached," Lombardi said in the statement, which was published on TuttoBici.
"I have frozen all negotiations until after the Classics so that Peter can remain concentrated on his very important objectives in these races. Though understanding of the great media attention that this subject arouses, I am certain that journalists will understand my position."
Reports in Italy have suggested that Lombardi and Sagan are seeking a contract in excess of €3 million per annum, and Thursday’s Gazzetta claimed that Astana had muted its interest because it was "unwilling to put an offer of €4 million on the plate."
Sagan has also been heavily linked with a move to the new team being established by Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso for the 2015 season. Both Lombardi and Alonso were present at the Dubai Tour last month, where Lombardi denied rumours of a deal and told Cyclingnews that nothing would be decided before the end of the spring campaign.
"I'm going to sit down with Cannondale at the start of March for talks but before Paris-Roubaix there's not going to be any news," said Lombardi, who is also the race director of the Tour de San Luis. "Now the most important thing for Peter is his racing. Peter's got to stay cool and stay focused on racing and winning. The spring classics are a big objective and after that we'll start to consider his future and for 2015."
Meanwhile, Tinkoff-Saxo manager Bjarne Riis, who sold the team’s WorldTour licence to Oleg Tinkov at the end of last year, has dismissed speculation that Alberto Contador could leave the team and sign for Fernando Alonso’s proposed new squad.
"We know that Alonso is going to start a team in 2015, but he [Contador] has a contract with us and we won’t talk to others," Riis told Marca.