Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan will be headline names at the 2019 Vuelta a San Juan, it has been confirmed. It will be the first time that the pair have ridden the South American race, having previously ridden the now-defunct Tour de San Luis.
"We are happy to confirm it,” San Juan sports minister Jorge Chica told Argentinian publication Diario de Cuyo. "The talks have been going on for some months and today, finally, we can confirm that Sagan will be here, giving more prestige to our Vuelta.
“They are figures that will give [the race] an extraordinary level."
Last month, Sagan told Cyclingnews that he intended on riding the South American race for the first time. He had already been confirmed to start the opening round of the WorldTour Tour Down Under, which he has ridden the past two years.
Sagan has previously ridden the Tour de San Luis, most recently in 2016 [the final edition of the race -ed], but it and the Vuelta a San Juan have traditionally clashed with the Tour Down Under. However, there will be no such issues for the Slovakian next year with San Juan set to start a few days later. While the Tour Down Under will take place between January 15 to 20, the Vuelta a San Juan is slated for January 27 to February 3.
Cavendish last started his season in South America in 2015, where he won the final stage of the Tour de San Luis. In recent years, the Manxman has opted to begin his year at the Dubai Tour and this will also be the first time in two years that he has begun racing in January.
As well as Sagan and Cavendish, Deceuninck-Quick Step [formerly Quick-Step Floors] are set to race with home rider Max Richeze and neo-pro Remco Evenepoel. Diario de Cuyo writes that UAE Team Emirates will also debut their new sprinter Fernando Gaviria at the race. Gaviria has ridden the last two editions of the race, winning two stages in 2017 and one stage this season.
The race is still working on confirming the rest of the teams that will take part in the race next season.