Three-time world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has announced that he will compete in a full spring Classics campaign in 2019, with plans for the 28-year-old to race from Milan-San Remo in March right through until Liege-Bastogne-Liege in late April.
Speaking at the Bora-Hansgrohe team presentation in Mallorca on Monday, Sagan confirmed that he would once again begin his season at the Tour Down Under in January. He will add the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina to his programme before returning to Europe for a spell of altitude training in February.
"I'm happy be a part of this team. It's been two years already but it's felt like just a week. We're starting another season and we're getting older but I'd like to help pass on my experience to some of the younger riders," Sagan said.
"We've decided that I'll do my kilometres in Australia and from there go to Argentina to do the Tour de San Juan. Then I'll have some rest before going up to Sierra Nevada."
Sagan will miss the opening weekend in Belgium at the start of March and also forgo Strade Bianche.
"After that I'll come back for Tirreno-Adriatico and the plan is then to carry on until Liege-Bastogne-Liege. We'll see how that goes with such a hard period but that's the first plan."
Team manager Ralph Denk backed the Spring Classics plan and confirmed that the German squad would go all out to add to their Monument tally.
"There are still some monuments on the list for Peter. He won Flanders and Roubaix but he was super close to Milan-San Remo and missed out. Maybe next year is his opportunity."
"We enjoyed a very successful season in 2018, but we strive to continue to improve. If we are able to take out a Monument and the Green Jersey at the Tour, we will be very satisfied."
Sagan has never raced Liege-Bastogne-Liege but was cautious with regards to his chances in next year's race.
"Maybe it's for experience," he said. "I've never raced it before so it could be good for me to race it for future years."
Sagan was also asked whether he had begun contemplating the end of his career. Recent reports suggested that he could look at new objectives beyond 2019, although the multiple Tour Green jersey winner has no desire to think about life after cycling just yet.
"If I start to think about my career after cycling, then it's already over. I don't think so."
During the press conference Denk announced that talented young German riders Pascal Ackermann and Emanuel Buchmann have extended their contracts with the team until 2021. New signing Maximilian Schachmann also pulled on the distinctive Bora-Hansgrohe colours for the first time after joining from Quick-Step floors.
Ackermann will make his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia in 2019, while Buchmann will focus on the Tour de France after finishing twelfth overall at the Vuelta a Espana. Schachmann will first target the Ardennes Classics with no decision yet made on his Grand Tour goals for 2019.
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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