Bora-Hansgrohe have confirmed the team that will support Peter Sagan at the Tour Down Under later this month. Sagan will have key lead-out man Daniel Oss as well as Maciej Bodnar and new signing Oscar Gatto.
The former three-time world champion is using the WorldTour opener as the start to his season for the third year running.
"Once again I am looking forward to being at the Santos Tour Down Under. This race holds a special place in my heart as it was my first race as a neo-pro in 2010," Sagan said on the race website.
"The changes to the 2019 course will be exciting and the finale at Willunga Hill will be a spectacle for sure."
After Alejandro Valverde took over the mantle of world champion in Innsbruck last September, the Tour Down Under will mark the first time in three years that Sagan has not worn the rainbow bands in a race. He won’t be back to standard team kit just yet, as he is still the reigning Slovakian champion.
Thanks to a calendar change, Sagan will race both the Tour Down Under and the Vuelta a San Juan this January. There is a seven-day gap between the two races, allowing Sagan to travel from Australia to Argentina in time.
Sagan took a stage win in Uraidla in last year’s race and had a stint as the overall leader. The race will return to Uraidla once again this season with an uphill dash to the line on stage 3, a perfect chance for Sagan to repeat his endeavours.
Joining Oss, Gatto and Bodnar in support of Sagan will be Australian sprinter Jay McCarthy, Gregor Muhlberger and Lukas Postlberger.
The Tour Down Under will begin on January 13 with the Down Under Classic criterium, which Sagan won ahead of Andre Greipel and Caleb Ewan last season. Greipel will not be back after switching teams over the winter, though Sagan will face Ewan and Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Elia Viviani. The main race will begin in Adelaide on January 15 and finishes on Willunga Hill on January 20.
Bora-Hansgrohe for the Tour Down Under: Peter Sagan, Maciej Bodnar, Oscar Gatto, Jay McCarthy, Gregor Muhlberger, Daniel Oss, Lukas Pöstlberger.