Peter Sagan: 'TotalEnergies not in the WorldTour is not a problem for me'

The three-time world champion appears to be stepping down from WorldTour level next season

Peter Sagan on stage one of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Sagan has said that Team TotalEnergies being a second division team is not a problem for him, as he searches for new challenges and to make the French squad a "great team".

Sagan announced he has signed for TotalEnergies on Tuesday evening (August 3) along with Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates, Daniel Oss, Maciej Bodnar and Juraj Sagan, plus bike brand Specialized, clothing brand Sportful and many other components and kit brands.

Sagan told l'Equipe what he thought about people being surprised with his step down in divisions: "You know, when I joined Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of 2016, it was a small team. In a few years, everything has changed and it has become one of the biggest structures of the WorldTour. What I mean is that I've been there before. The most important thing is not the current status of the team but what we are going to do with it. The fact that TotalEnergies is not in the WorldTour today is not a problem for me. I want to help make it a great team."

However, TotalEnergies have made it clear they are building a team to get into the WorldTour at some point. Whether that will be in 2022 or not is yet to be confirmed.

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The Slovakian star said he first met TotalEnergies boss, Jean-Renie Bernaudeau three years ago at the Tour de France and has admired how he lets his riders race. 

Bernaudeau spoke of meeting with Sagan just a few months ago in his home in Monaco to discuss a move to his team, when Sagan asked about potentially looking at other disciplines such as mountain biking and gravel racing.

"Peter seeks to preserve himself. He has created around him a sort of micro-enterprise, with very close people, which allows him to be happy," explains Bernaudeau. "It is also a vision of cycling. When I met him at his home in Monaco, he asked me half-heartedly, as if he didn't dare, if he could participate in gravel events. It's a new market that is linked to ecology, urban mobility, the pleasure that he and I are looking for. This will open new doors."

But Sagan wants to focus on recovering from the injury that he got in his crash with Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) on stage three of the Tour de France. Sagan carried on until stage 12 where he had to pull out with Bursitis after a cut into the knee caused by a chainring became infected.

After that, he seeks to ride the World Championships in Leuven for Slovakia and to try and take a fourth world titlem, before heading the rescheduled Paris-Roubaix on October 3 2021 with Bora-Hansgrohe, likely his last race with the German-registered team.

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