Patrick Lefevere has said he doesn’t want to sign Peter Sagan because of the star rider’s entourage.
Sagan, former three-time world champion, is famed for taking a team of riders and staff with him during each trance, who all form part of contract negotiations for the Slovakian star.
As Sagan’s contract with Bora-Hansgrohe comes to an end this season, he has been linked to a number of potential new squads in recent weeks, with Lefevere’s Deceuninck - Quick-Step one of the more enticing rumours.
Team boss Lefevere has now confirmed in his column for Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that he was involved in talks with Sagan’s agent, but that he put a halt to the talks because he “doesn’t want a team within his team.”
Lefevere said that the Sagan rumours started as Deceuninck - Quick-Step signed a new long-term deal with bike sponsor Specialized, which will run until 2027.
As part of the contract talks, Deceuninck - Quick-Step owner Zdenek Bakala went cycling with Specialized CEO Mike Sinyard, where Sagan’s name came up.
Sagan also has a long-term sponsorship deal with Specialized, with the team’s owner Bakala suggesting that Sagan could join Deceuninck.
“Everything fitted together well, but I immediately put on the brakes,” Lefevere said.
Sagan’s agent Giovanni Lombardi then wanted to open talks, according to Lefevere, adding that he met with the agent.
Lombardi said that Sagan’s entourage of 11 riders and staff was not set in stone, as many of Sagan’s personal team had found new jobs.
But the Sagan camp did want to bring eight people along, Lefevere said, with Sagan now believed to be in talks with another team willing to take on his entourage.
Lefevere said: “Great of Sagan that he take such good care of his faithful, but I don’t want a team within my team. That cannot be reconciled with the Wolfpack philosophy.”
Sagan’s current entourage at Bora-Hansgrohe includes four riders - Erik Baska, Maciej Bodnar, Daniel Oss and his brother Juraj - along with two mechanics, two caretakers, a sports director, a press officer, and a hospitality manager, according to Lefevere.
Earlier this week Sagan was linked to French ProTeam Total Direct Energie, who are believed to be pursuing WorldTour status and need a star rider to lead the team.
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