Peter Sagan could ride for the Astana team in 2017

Peter Sagan is likely to ride for the Astana team in 2017, as his current squad Tinkoff disbands at the end of the 2016 season. Gazzetta dello Sport reports that although the deal has been made between the 26-year-old Slovak and Astana for the 2017 season, it cannot be confirmed until the official rider transfer date of August 1.

Specialized is apparently closely involved in any deal and could cover a percentage of Sagan’s salary. However, the US bike brand recently announced a three per cent reduction in its global workforce and is determined to be used by teams to make up for any sponsorship shortfalls. Specialized only has a contract with the Etixx – Quick-Step team for 2017 and has yet to decide and finalise other team sponsorships.

It is likely that Sagan will take with him several key members from Russian team Tinkoff, including his brother Juraj, Oscar Gatto, Michael Kolar and key support staff.

A contract between Sagan and Astana could be worth around €4million per year to the rider. Sagan would effectively replace Vincenzo Nibali, who is set to leave the Kazakh WorldTour team at the end of 2016 and is linked with a new team from Bahrain. Fabio Aru would be Astana’s main Grand Tour contender.

Sagan was linked to the Etixx-QuickStep during the Classics and was considered a natural heir to Tom Boonen. However, team manager Patrick Lefevere has apparently still to confirm his full sponsorship for beyond 2018 and is also happy with his crop of current and developing riders.