Peter Sagan has confirmed that he will ride both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2020 before lining out at the Olympic Games road race. Speaking at the Bora-Hansgrohe team presentation in the German town of Kolbermoor on Tuesday evening, Sagan suggested that his heavy early-season programme means that his campaign will effectively end after the Olympics.
Sagan will start his 2020 season in Argentina at the Vuelta a San Juan on January 26 before taking in his by-now traditional pre-Classics training camp in February. He will then slot in another training camp between Paris-Roubaix and the Giro Grande Partenza in Budapest on May 9.
With the calendar squeezed due to the Olympic Games, just four weeks separate the end of the Giro and the start of the Tour, and Sagan will not ride a stage race between the two Grand Tours. The Olympic road race, meanwhile, takes place a mere six days after the Tour peloton reaches the Champs-Élysées.
“For me, the season finishes after the Tour and the Olympics, so it will only be six months, but six tough months, I think,” Sagan told Cyclingnews.
On stage during the presentation, Sagan sketched out his season in bald terms: “I start in Argentina, then I have a training camp at altitude, the Classics, another training camp, the Giro, another training camp, and then the Tour de France.”
Four years ago, Sagan took part in the mountain bike event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, reasoning that the road race was likely to be too demanding for him, though the gold medal was ultimately claimed by his Classics rival Greg Van Avermaet. While Sagan acknowledges that the tough Tokyo parcours is not tailored to his talents, he will take the start on July 26.
“It’s quite hard,” Sagan said. “But in the Olympics, you never know how it will go, so it’s worth trying.”
At the Giro, Sagan will be accompanied by 2019 maglia ciclamino Pascal Ackermann and 2018 stage winner Max Schachmann, while the Tour squad will be built primarily around the podium challenge of Emanuel Buchmann, who placed 4th overall in Paris last July.
Bora-Hansgrohe manager Ralph Denk confirmed that Ackermann will have to wait another year to make his Tour debut, and the German will instead combine the Giro with a maiden Vuelta a España appearance.
“We have a clear plan with Pascal,” Denk told Cyclingnews. “This Tour doesn’t fit 100% for the sprinters and in my opinion, he has to do two Grand Tours [in one year] to get to another level. Then for sure in 2021, he is ready to come to the Tour.”
Buchmann said that his build-up to the Tour will largely mimic his 2019 race schedule, which saw him take in the UAE Tour, Tour of the Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of July.
“Once again, my entire focus will be directed towards the Tour de France,” Buchmann said. “Everything else is secondary to this main goal. My race programme will be similar to this year’s. That worked out quite well.”
Denk was enthusiastic about Buchmann’s prospects on the demanding 2020 Tour route, which features a plethora of mountain stages and a mere 36km of time trialling, all on the penultimate day to La Planche des Belles Filles.
“If you look to the course next year, it could be really a good chance. We don’t even have a team time trial, just one individual time trial,” Denk said. “This is a good opportunity for him, but for sure, he has to be healthy and has to be in shape.”