Peter Sagan officially joined his new TotalEnergies teammates for the first time this year, taking part in a six-hour ride on Monday at a training camp in Calpe, Spain. A positive COVID-19 test two weeks ago derailed plans for a splashy team kit unveiling at the team’s service course in France set for January 10.
It was the second time in 11 months that Sagan tested positive for the coronavirus along with his brother Juraj Sagan, who also moved from Bora-Hansgrohe to Team TotalEnergies. Rather than quarantine for 10 days from the first positive test like was required last spring in Spain, this time he was required by new French health regulations to remain in isolation at his home in Monte Carlo for five days and then return a negative test.
Before testing positive, Sagan was part of a photo shoot with several other riders to unveil their new 2022 kits, his incorporating the blue and red bands as the national road champion of Slovakia and rainbow stripes on the collar as former world champion. While in isolation the team was able to post images of Sagan in his new look to social media.
“I went for my first bike ride of the year with this group of old and new friends,” Sagan posted to his Twitter feed. He and Juraj were part of the training ride, which took place along the scenic central east coast of Spain.
This marks the second training camp in Calpe for the team, having spent 10 days there in mid December. Sagan had planned to make his season debut with the French ProTeam at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, scheduled for January 30 to February 5, but the ProSeries stage race was cancelled for a second consecutive year related to the re-escalation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Without a race to take him to South America, Sagan also had to cancel plans for altitude training in South America, most likely in Colombia where he trained two years ago, according to VeloNews. Now, Sagan will next spend time in the Canary Islands for additional training before his season gets underway, most likely in February at the three-day Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.
Turning 32 on January 26, Sagan’s goals for the season remain on the spring Classics, like Milan-San Remo where he was fourth last year. In his first of two years at TotalEnergies, Sagan said he wanted to help the French ProTeam grow and win bigger races. Last year, he won a stage at the Giro d’Italia and the points jersey, but it was not known yet if he would make the Giro a target, since his French ProTeam still needs an invitation to compete.
I went for my first bike ride of the year with this group of old and new friends!J'ai fait ma première balade de l'année à vélo avec ce groupe d'anciens et de nouveaux copains!@TeamTotalEnrg @TotalEnergies @iamspecialized @sportful @ride100percent(Photos James Startt) pic.twitter.com/NLRK2qshQmJanuary 17, 2022
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