Peter Sagan will ride for Team TotalEnergies for the next two seasons, with the French ProTeam hoping Sagan’s presence and results can help the team grow and even target WorldTour status in 2023 when the coveted three-year licences become available.
Team TotalEnergies manager Jean-René Bernaudeau confirmed the arrival of Sagan on Tuesday after weeks of speculation that he was chasing Sagan’s signature.
Bike brand Specialized also confirmed they will sponsor Team TotalEnergies as they continue their long-standing relationship with Sagan, with Sportful becoming the team's clothing sponsor.
Specialized will be Team TotalEnergies official supplier of bicycles, tires, shoes, and helmets, along with Roval wheels and other components for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
“This new adventure is very exciting. Jean-René is a manager who wants to change the lines in the world of cycling, I hope to be able to help this team to achieve it, and to win many races under these new colors,” Sagan said in an announcement by the French team.
“For now, of course, I remain focused on the end of season goals with my current team, and I will join my new formation with a winning spirit this winter! "
Bernaudeau’s team have competed as a ProTeam in recent years, benefiting from a wild card invitation to the Tour de France to secure the team’s profile. However the arrival of TotalEnergies has raised the team’s budget and ambitions.
The team changed its colours and name before this year’s Tour de France but has struggled to make an impact, only winning five races so far, including the Tour du Rwanda. It is unclear if the likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen and Niki Terpstra will remain with the team following the signing of Sagan and his group of riders.
“Recruiting Peter is obviously an incredible source of pride. He is undoubtedly the most popular rider in the world, he is an exceptional talent, he makes us change dimension,” Bernaudeau said.
“This recruitment is above all the sign of our sporting ambition. Peter is a huge talent, everyone knows that, and above all he will bring us victories: we are counting on him for that. The arrival of such a champion, a bicycle and accessories supplier like Specialized and a clothing partner like Sportful, these are accelerators for our sporting project, it is also a new attraction for the talents of tomorrow.
"Peter will be a key part of our system on the Classics and the Tour. He will bring us a lot sporting also through his experience, and will help us to move the group forward."
Sagan’s move to Team TotalEnergies was confirmed just a few hours after Bora-Hansgrohe announced the return of Sam Bennett to the team and the construction of a new sprint lead out. Pascal Ackerman will also leave Bora-Hansgrohe and is widely expected to replace Alexander Kristoff at UAE Team Emirates.
Some of Sagan’s entourage are also expected to move to Team TotalEnergies, with Maciej Bodnar and Daniel Oss also confirmed by the French team.
Last week Sagan confirmed he will leave Bora-Hansgrohe after five years with the German team.
While earning a reported five million Euro annual salary, Sagan helped elevate the team to the WorldTour in 2017, acting as their talisman both on and off the road for the last five seasons.
He won Grand Tour stages, green jerseys in the Tour de France, a third world title and Paris-Roubaix, as well as presenting different Bora and Hansgrohe advertising campaigns. However Sagan’s win tally has dropped off significantly in the last two years as Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert dominated the classics and Sam Bennett won the green jersey at the 2020 Tour de France.
Sagan won a stage at the 2020 and 2021 Giro d’Italia and secured the cyclamen points jersey in this year’s race, but he was forced to quit the Tour de France after stage 11 due to an infection in a wound he suffered in the stage 2 crash with Caleb Ewan.
He did not ride at the Tokyo Olympics and underwent surgery on a knee bursa to speed up his recovery. It is not clear when he will return to racing in the final part of the 2021 season.
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