My two posts on Peter Sagan have been popular (Peter Sagan’s got skillz and Who’s Peter Sagan?) so here’s a tidbit of news that hasn’t reached the English-speaking media yet: Sagan was approached by Quick Step two years ago after he finished on the podium of the junior Paris-Roubaix. The Belgian boss outfit invited him to do some VO2 Max tests, according to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure.
Patrick Lefevere regrets not following up the exceptional results that the Slovak scored two years ago. “They were very good tests and even more, he turned up without shoes or a bike” said the Quick Step boss. “You know, the problem was that he only spoke Czech and wanted to focus on mountain biking* and, above all, he wanted money. But he was only 18 years old…“. I bet Lefevere is now kicking himself but that’s easy to say with hindsight.
Sagan was backed by Specialized at the time, so that explains the link with Quick Step, who were riding their bikes too at the time. What I haven’t been able to work out is why Sagan switched from Specialized to Cannondale for his MTBing. Was this just an ordinary sponsorship deal? Or did Cannondale offer something special for the long term, including a potential deal with the Cannondale-sponsored Liquigas squad?
Looking forward, the Belgian newspaper also says Liquigas are now reviewing his programme ahead of Milan – San Remo. He will probably be rested for 20 days until the Tour of Turkey, this has been the plan… but this might change.
* Sagan was the reigning junior world champion at the time. Note he’s Slovak and speaks Slovak, not Czech.