Current world champion Peter Sagan will open his 2017 season at the Tour Down Under with his new Bora-Hansgrohe team. Sagan made his debut at the South Australian WorldTour race in 2010 and has chosen to ride the Tour de San Luis as his season opening race since. It will be Bora-Hansgrohe's first appearance at the race.
"I'm excited to announce that I will race at the Santos Tour Down Under next year. This iconic Australian race brings the world's best riders on a course that features tough climbs and fast sprints and I'm convinced its 19th edition could be the best so far," Sagan said.
"The Santos Tour Down Under will be the curtain-raiser of the 2017 season and my first race wearing the Bora-Hansgrohe colours, but it also holds a special place in my heart. I first took part in 2010 in what was my maiden WorldTour race and I still remember the excitement and anxiety on the start line of the first stage in Clare.
"Returning, after seven years, to the race that set off my professional career is a great feeling and I look forward to riding on the roads of Adelaide and South Australia."
The 26-year-old made his mark on his 2010 debut, animating the Willunga Hill queen stage and race director Mike Turtur is expecting another aggressive showing at the race from Sagan.
"Six years ago we saw Sagan attack over the last climb on Willunga Hill finishing fifth, battling it out alongside Cadel Evans, Alejandro Valverde and Luis Leon Sanchez. The race and the fans are in store for something special next year when he tackles the climb for the second time," Turtur said of the stage won by Sanchez.
"He has had an outstanding season to date, not just with his Tour de France campaign but with victory at the one day classics, Tour of Flanders and the Gent-Wevelgem. Not only is he a great cyclist, he is also one of the most popular cyclists on the WorldTour. We cannot wait to welcome him back to the race – he is an exciting addition," added Turtur.
The 2017 Tour Down Under starts with the 50km People's Choice Classic criterium on Sunday, January 15 with stage 1 of the race taking place Tuesday, January 17 from Unley to Lyndoch. The race concludes Sunday, January 22 with a 90km stage six Adelaide Street Circuit.