Peter Sagan will once again make his first appearance in his new rainbow jersey at the Tour Down Under in January, according to the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper. Sagan won the world road race title for the third consecutive year, beating Alexander Kristoff in a close-run sprint in Bergen last month.
Sagan expressed his excitement at riding in the rainbow bands once again at the one-week race, saying that it was the perfect start to the season.
"I'm excited to be starting the 2018 season with the rainbow stripes across my back again in Australia at the Santos Tour Down Under," Sagan told the Advertiser.
"It is the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year; it has it all, a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what.
"It is important to get the season off to a good start with Bora-Hansgrohe, and there is no better place to do this than South Australia at the TDU."
Sagan started his 2017 season at the Australian race – his second appearance at the event – debuting his world champion's jersey and riding for Bora-Hansgrohe for the first time. He finished second in three of the six stages. His stint down under proved perfect preparation for the early part of the Classics season, with second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and victory the following day at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Sagan first rode the Tour Down Under in his debut professional season in 2010, ending the race with two top-five finishes.
Other riders expected to race at the 2018 Tour Down Under are Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans and Rohan Dennis. The Tour Down Under begins on 16 January 2018 at Port Adelaide and will finish in the city six days later. The route will include the traditional summit finish on Willunga Hill on the penultimate stage.