Peter Sagan has confirmed that Milan-Sanremo will be the first goal of his 2013 season but the talented Slovakian will miss Paris-Roubaix and the world road race championships in Florence.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport from his home in Zilina before heading to Los Angeles for some warm weather training and the Team Cannondale official presentation on January 13, the prodigious Slovakian is confident of another double-digit season.
Since turning professional in 2010, Sagan has won 36 races and dominated the green points jersey competition at the 2012 Tour de France, winning three stages along the way.
"I like it (being compared to Merckx)," he told Gazzetta. "It's difficult to say who is my biggest rival. I'm suited to lots of different kinds of finishes and so I'm always up against different rivals. But I can beat them all."
Sagan will travel to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis after the Team Cannondale presentation, celebrating his 23rd birthday during the race, on January 26.
"It's a real race, it'll be a big battle with Boonen," he predicted. "After that I'll ride the Tour of Oman, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold Race."
"Milan-Sanremo is my first goal because it's the first Classic, while Flanders and Roubaix are the races I dream about winning. I'd love to win the world title one year too but the course in Florence is too tough for me this time."
Surprisingly, despite being a former Junior world mountain bike world champion, Sagan is unlikely to ride Paris-Roubaix in 2013 according to Gazzetta dello Sport, due to his position on the bike.
He sits high and forward, meaning his centre of gravity makes his bounce and often loses control of his bike on the pave. He is expected to gradually change his position on the bike, but not before the spring.
"I've got to continue to develop and mature. I've got to become stronger in every type of race. It's easy to say I've got to improve on the climbs but I've also got to good in sprints too," he explained.
"I've been doing more or less the same things for three years. I've always improved and so I don't want to change too much for now."