Peter Sagan sat centre stage under the glaring eye of the attended press at the Bora-hansgrohe press conference in Spain. The world champion confirmed that his goals will be the same as usual: the Classics and the Tour de France, but insisted the World Championships are too far away to make any predictions about his chances of winning a third consecutive rainbow jersey.
"It's a new team but the goals are always the same; the Classics, then the Tour de France. Regarding the end of the season and the World Championships, we'll see what happens, it's far away from now.." said Sagan.
Staying strictly on message, Sagan claimed he was happy with the ambiance in the new Bora-hansgohe team, suggesting that the step up from Professional Continental to WorldTour level with the world champion as team leader will not be a problem.
"I've been in different teams before but the ambiance here in this team is very good," he said. "I don't feel like a new guy in team only, which is nice. Now I only have to train on bike, that's what's cycling is about. It's nice to come to a new team, understand that the people leading the team are good guys and feel part of it all."
Sagan will earn a reported five million annual Euro salary for the next three years, with a significant part of his huge salary covered by bike sponsor Specialized. The German team has stepped up to WorldTour level and signed Sagan thanks to the arrival of new sponsorship from German sanitary fittings manufacturer Hansgrohe.
Sagan also praised Bora-hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk for the way he has developed the team, which has grown from the NetApp squad, and the way they quickly reached a deal after other teams made contact and made offers but failed to back them up. Sagan was linked with several teams in the spring, including QuickStep and Astana. However, he revealed that Bora lived up to their promises.
"The reason I signed with Bora-hansgrohe was easy. They were the only one team that was really interested in me. Everybody was speaking, speaking and didn't do nothing. Then Ralph and I met one time and the project worked out. I like people who do things and not only speak," Sagan explained.
"Bora-hansgrohe made a lot of sacrifice for me. I also have my group that works for me and that better when you join a new team. I was happy to sign with them."
"I do not see that much of a difference with my previous teams. They say that the transition from a small to a large team is not easy but I don't feel that a small team that has suddenly become great or that I'm suddenly in a small team. Everything is being done very professionally, everyone knows his job. We've got good bikes and the manager and team leaders know what they have to do."
Sagan will make his season debut at the Tour Down Under in just over a month's time, his first appearance at the race since 2010. Race Director Mike Turtur recently told Cyclingnews that he believes the World Champion could take overall victory at the race.
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