Sagan a signature away from joining TotalEnergies, report suggests

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) during stage 1 of the Tour de France
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) during stage 1 of the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Peter Sagan and Specialized bikes are just a signature away from signing for Team TotalEnergies in 2022, according to the latest reports from the Tour de France.

The Slovakian is set to leave Bora-Hansgrohe after five years at the team, and has been linked with a handful of teams, including the French ProTeam and Belgian powerhouse Deceuninck-QuickStep, but now looks to be heading to the French squad.

A report published by WielerFlits journalist Raymond Kerckhoffs on Tuesday suggested that TotalEnergies will sign a contract with Sagan, several support riders, and bike supplier Specialized after the Tour de France.

Sagan, a three-time world champion with seven Tour de France points jerseys to his name, would bring Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar, Erik Baška and his brother Juraj with him to his new team.

In May, Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere said that the 31-year-old also requested the transfer of two mechanics, two soigneurs, a directeur sportif, a press officer, and a hospitality manager.

Saga's request to bring such an entourage with him to any new team was the primary reason for Deceuninck-QuickStep's refusal to sign him, said Lefevere.

Bora-Hansgrohe's split with Sagan dates back to early April, when team manager Ralph Denk said he was "entering the autumn of his career" and questioned whether the team should invest in younger riders, in an interview with a German newspaper.

"We are very grateful for what Sagan has done for us. The sponsors have received a lot of attention thanks to him, but he is entering the autumn of his career," Denk was reported as saying.

"And he's one of the best paid professionals in the peloton. We just have to weigh up: Do we still want to afford it? Or is it better to invest the money in younger riders?"

Sagan has flattered to deceive so far at this year's Tour de France, with his best results after 10 days of the race being fifth places on stages 4 and 6. He currently lies seventh in the points competition, 126 points down on leader Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep).

Specialized will reportedly maintain their role as bike supplier to Bora-Hansgrohe, despite Sagan leaving, as well as Deceuninck-QuickStep, who they have supplied since 2012.

"I'm still waiting for the signature of the parties involved," Jean-René Bernaudeau told WielerFlits.

No rider signings are allowed to be made official before pro cycling's official 'transfer window' opens on August 1, so it will be a few weeks before the French team officially announce any Sagan transfer.

Bora-Hansgrohe, meanwhile, have been linked with Sam Bennett, who left the team for Deceuninck-QuickStep last year. The Irishman has been criticised in public by Lefevere in the run-up to the Tour de France after he pulled out of the team's Tour squad due to a knee injury, and will join a new team for 2022.

The future of Bora's other sprinter, Pascal Ackermann, is also in the air with his contract up at the end of the season.

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