Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has only just begun his 2014 season in Argentina but Fernando Alonso is making plans with him for 2015 and 2016. According to Italian website Tutto Bici, Alonso’s new team has already signed him for €3.3m (£2.72m).
The Slovak celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday after placing second in the final stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Last year he was the rider with the most wins to his name (22), three more than Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) with 19.
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Spanish Formula One driver Alonso reportedly wants Sagan to lead his new team into 2015, although Alberto Contador has also been linked to the set-up. Sagan said that he had offers from Alonso and other teams in a December interview with Slovak newspaper, Pravda.
Alonso hired former Italian coach and two-time World Champion, Paolo Bettini to create his team. This month, Bettini travelled to Spain and met with Alonso’s manager Luis García Abad to plan their 2015 debut. According to the Italian website, Bettini already confirmed a €3.3m annual deal with Sagan for 2015 and 2016.
In comparison, he would earn less than Tour de France winner Chris Froome will earn in the coming years. Speaking with various agents, Cycling Weekly estimated that Froome renewed with Sky for £3.35m [€4m].
Sagan has raced with Cannondale since his professional debut in 2010. The Italian team even contracted him one year earlier and allowed him to continue mountain biking. In 2012, General Manager Roberto Amadio renewed Sagan’s contract through to the end of 2014.
Amadio told Cycling Weekly this winter that he expects many teams will contact Sagan but that he would deal with contract renewals later in the season.
“We will face that when it’s time,” Amadio said. “I’m just thinking about 2014 now. We will make our offer, the other teams will make their offers and he’s going to have to decide. I don’t think we are inferior to anyone else and I’m not worried that much.”
Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, prohibits such early-season deals. Teams may only announce contracts from August 1 onwards, even if they often make agreements as early as June or July at the Tour de France.