Sagan and Quickstep

Monday, 15 March 2010

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.

Sagan World Champion

World Junior MTB Champion

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.

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{ 5 comments }

Duncan February 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Talk about regrets! Every day Lefevre must kick himself over that.

Paul February 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Czech, Slovak – toomayda, tomarda.

beev March 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

i heard that liquigas secured him as they offered a role to his brother too….

The Inner Ring March 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

Duncan: oh yes.

Paul: sensitive. I bet Lefevere knows the difference now.

Beev: that was after. Once he established himself as a hot talent in 2010 the team realised that they had to give him everything he wanted. See http://inrng.com/?p=188, where I covered this. He seems talented but wasn’t setting the amateur scene on fire in France.

beev March 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

Ok – thanks for the clarification on timings. However, i think that just goes to undermine Lefevres decision further given he actually did the tests on Sagan the elder. It’s common practice in some other sports to “secure” a lineage/dynasty based on the first one through the door. Also, Jan Ullrich never wanted to cycle, let alone do one discipline within the sport over another – however, others knew best, or arguably didn’t :-) Genetics is the future for this sport, and that will bring both great things and despair….

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