In 2017, Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann each opened a new chapter in their cycling careers.
At the height of his creativity, the Slovak superstar switched to the German team Bora-hansgrohe, the Palatinate youngster started his professional career there at the same time.
While Sagan was the driving force behind the young team from day one and quickly gave the second division player access to the WorldTour circuit, Ackermann still had to get used to the lifestyle of a professional driver.
Five years later, both will leave Bora-hansgrohe at the end of the year, as the team announced on Thursday. Sagan, the specialist in sprint decisions and difficult one-day races, brought the Raublinger team 28 wins, the pure sprinter Ackermann 38. The two most successful professionals, measured by daily successes, are breaking new ground. Team manager Ralph Denk regrets the farewells of the two top employees, with whom the team would have liked to continue working according to his statements. But the Upper Bavarian also sees the opportunities that arise from the major upheaval that is now taking place. “Our standards are very high. That is why we have already started to reposition ourselves for the future in the background, ”says Denk.
For several years the Raublinger had made personal continuity their guideline. The self-designation as the “Band of Brothers” would have been implausible if half the workforce had been replaced every year. This will almost happen at the end of the year. The teams will only be allowed to announce their new signings - mostly long since made - from August 1st, when the cycling transfer window opens. According to reports, the best German racing team will in future rely on a stronger group of racers in the squad. One should agree with the Australian Jay Hindley, the Colombian Sergio Higuita and the Russian Aleksandr Vlasov.
With the departure of big earner Sagan, funds will be freed up in the budget.
Especially since Sagan, who will probably switch to the French team TotalEnergies, is only available with a multi-headed entourage of supervisors and passengers.
"The last five years have been undoubtedly among the best of my career, with many special moments that I will always remember," says Sagan.
At Ackermann there is also frustration
Even if he didn't shine often this year and last, the 31-year-old has brought the German team great successes. On the one hand in the fight for media attention and donations from sponsors, the currency par excellence in professional cycling. On the other hand, on the road: five stage victories at the Tour de France, two at the Giro d'Italia as well as winning the jersey of the best sprinter in both country tours, the world championship title in 2017, the triumph at Paris-Roubaix in 2018.
Ackermann, on the other hand, developed into a top sprinter in the peloton and had his greatest moments in 2019 at the Giro and winning the classic Eschborn-Frankfurt bike. But although Denk promised, “Ackes” did not make its tour debut in the five years. This year, despite the sprinter-friendly racing profile, the 27-year-old was kicked out shortly before the start, which injured Ackermann and ultimately led to his breakage. The sprinter did not record a single win in the first half of the year, most recently he scored five daily victories in less prestigious races. Ackermann is associated with the UAE Emirates team.