The Tour of Flanders winner is on the hunt for a new team after current team owner Oleg Tinkov announced he was leaving the sport

World champion and 2016 Tour of Flanders winner, Peter Sagan needs a new team for 2017 with Tinkoff looking likely to close and team Trek-Segafredo says that it is considering a deal.

Sagan blasted away from his rivals on the Kwaremont and Paterberg to win the 100th Tour of Flanders on Sunday in Oudenaarde, Belgium. He has Paris-Roubaix on his programme next this Sunday. At some point, however, he will need to think about signing for a new team.

Owner Oleg Tinkov said in December he would close his team at the end of 2016. The team manager Stefano Feltrin told Cycling Weekly that he is looking for a new owner and backer, but the airwaves are quiet.

Teams Trek-Segafredo, Etixx-Quick-Step and BMC Racing could be the front-runners to sign the 26-year-old from Žilina, Slovakia.

“We know that Sagan is on the market,” Trek-Segafredo general manager Luca Guercilena told Cycling Weekly. “The market is still open and there are still many months before we can sign athletes. For sure, he’s a big champion, a big name, and has a lot of talent. We will see.”

Guercilena’s star rider Fabian Cancellara will retire at the end of 2016. Cancellara missed the winning move at his final Flanders, but in a pursuit, he nearly closed to Sagan.

Watch: How Peter Sagan won the Tour of Flanders

Guercilena added, “It’s not that Fabian lost the race against a no-one. That was a big name in front, it was a big fight.”

With Cancellara gone, the team’s budget opens to sign another marquee rider. It was in line for Vincenzo Nibali, but Guercilena said that the Italian Grand Tour star is planning to leave Astana for the new Bahrain project.

“We are interested in both [a classification rider and a new Classics rider]. We will see what will work out, it could be one or both,” Guercilena explained.

Sagan is working with former professional and agent Giovanni Lombardi. No one knows for sure, but they could be asking for €4 to 5 million or £3.2 to 4 million.

Guercilena did not comment on Sagan’s asking price, but said that he is receiving proposals year-around. “For sure [we are talking to Lombardi]. The market and agents are quite active and they propose riders 12 months a year.

“It’s clear that we’ve had some chats with him, but it’s clear that we are far from finding a solution right now.”

Etixx and BMC could offer Sagan a home in 2017, as well. Etixx may be looking to beef up its team with Tom Boonen an uncertainty beyond 2016 and BMC may want to replace Philippe Gilbert.

The only news coming from Russian WorldTour Tinkoff team regarding its future was an April Fools’s joke saying that they inked a deal with a “major Chinese food company.”

Few laughed because if the team closes, around 40 to 50 members will be looking for work. Sagan is one of five cyclists, including Rafal Majka, who still have a contract for 2017 with Tinkoff.

  • J1

    ….and clash with their other top Classics riders. He won’t go to Etixx. BMC wouldn’t work either, GVA and him are far too similar and go for the same races.
    Trek is the more logical decision and they’ve got the money to bring him in, they need to replace Fabian. If the Tinkoff team get a new owner and sponsor, than he could end up staying with the new team that will probably be made up of the former Tinkoff riders and staff.

    I don’t mind where he goes, as long as he’s racing.

  • Aurelio

    I was talking about Tony Martin.
    My point was not about the their egos per se, but the fact that Terpstra, Stybar and now Tony want to win the cobble classics. A team with such talent is not a good place for Sagan, because he wants and deserves to be the captain for those races.

  • blemcooper

    Which Martin, Dan or Tony, or both?

    Tony is being groomed as a potential cobbled classics leader, but he doesn’t seem to be a prima donna type and has demonstrated a willingness to bury himself for others. He usually gets chances to shine regardless.

    Dan comes from Team Garmin/Cannondale Slipstream where multiple leaders/we’ll ride for the strongest guy out on the road was the S.O.P. Perhaps he wants to stay away from that type of situation, but then EQS wouldn’t have been the place to go. Still, he and Sagan would overlap somewhat as well.

  • Aurelio

    A lot of options for team leader is a big problem, I wonder how the Directors deal if all the egos. Boonen, Terpstra, Stybar and now Martin. They need less leaders and more domestiques.

  • Aurelio

    There are too many top classic riders at Etixx, Sagan should go to a team where he will be the team leader for the Classics. Trek would be perfect.

  • Ryan Bolin

    Etixx classics team is a case of way to many roosters in the hen house. Why would Sagan want to go join that train wreck? They can’t work together at all!

  • Anthony

    etixx have already proven what money can’t buy -> team synergy

  • llos25

    He is his own guy and will go where he alone decides like a true champion but like you I think Etixx is the best bet.

  • eminusx

    better suited at Etixx I feel. Sign for Boonens (likely) last season, learn the ropes from an all-time classics King, same bike brand, build a team around him, Sagz could become one of the all-time greats.

    No idea how he’d fit into BMC.