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With his current employer, Team Tinkoff, set to fold at the end of the 2016 season, the reigning world road race champion is looking into his options for the future.

Photo: Sirotti
11.04.2016 @ 09:07 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Sagan avoids speaking openlyd about his future himself, choosing to let his agent, Giovanni Lombardi, work quietly in the background. However, his victory in this year's Tour of Flanders while wearing the rainbow jersey will have done nothing to diminish his market value as a string of teams are already looking to improve their Classics squad for next year.

 

Reportedly, Etixx-QuickStep, BMC and Trek-Segafredo are interested adding Sagan to their roster as they look to reconstruct their Classics squads and secure the biggest names in the sport for the long-term future.

 

Belgian outfit Etixx-QuickStep needs a replacement for the aging Tom Boonen, who finished second in yesterday's Paris-Roubaix but is showing signs of decline, while Boonen's compatriot Philippe Gilbert is expected to leave BMC this year. Trek-Segafredo are looking to replace Fabian Cancellara who is set to retire at the end of the current season.  Sagan can win stages at the Tour de France and target the green points jersey while also claiming his share of Classics wins, is considered an excellent replacement for the Swiss. 

 

Sagan is currently under contract with the Tinkoff team for 2017 but seeing that team owner Oleg Tinkov has already announced that he will quit the sport at the end of this year, it seems that Sagan will be at liberty to change teams if the Tinkoff team management is unsuccesful in their endeavors to secure a major new sponsor. Team manager Stefano Feltrin has set the end of the Giro d’Italia as a key deadline and Sagan’s future is likely to have been decided by the time he starts the Tour de France.

 

As the reigning world champion and winner of this year's Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders, Sagan has established himself as one of the biggest stars in the sport. Furthermore, and sponsors are likely to take note of this, Sagan has demonstrated an ability to compete in almost all races throughout the year. This characteristic was nothing special for a rider just a few decades ago, but in this highly specialized era, it is rather a unique quality that will provide sponsors with real and long-lasting value for their money.

 

It is not unusual for teams to hesitate before investing considerable sums - Sagan is reportedly earning four million euros per season - but given the fierce competition for the Slovak's signature on a contract, he may be expected to put pen to paper in a not too distant future.

 

Meanwhile, the Tinkoff team has confirmed that Sagan will take a well-deserved break after Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix after already racing for 20 days since making his season debut at the Tour de San Luis in late January.

 

Sagan's next major race will be the Tour of California in May, which he won in 2015 after winning two stages and finishing in the top three on four others. He will then ride the Tour de Suisse in June to be at his best for the start of the Tour de France, where he will target a fifth green points jersey.

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