Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) will make his return to racing at the Vuelta a España, which begins this Saturday. The Vuelta will be the first race for the Slovakian since winning his fourth consecutive green jersey at the Tour de France with a dominant showing in the latter part of the race.
The full team is set to be announced on Tuesday but the team have confirmed that Sagan will join Rafal Majka, who will lead the team’s GC ambitions at the Spanish Grand Tour. Defending champion Alberto Contador ended his season at the start of the month and will not line up.
Sagan will use the three-week race as preparation for the World Championships in Richmond next month. Last season, Sagan built towards the Ponferrada Worlds by riding the Vuelta, abandoning on stage 14 and avoiding the worst of the mountains. With the toughest parcours coming in the opening two weeks followed by a smattering of sprint opportunities in the final days, it’s unclear if Sagan will do the same or choose to go all the way to Madrid.
There is also the issue of travel time to Richmond and jetlag to consider for Sagan and the team. The Vuelta finishes two weeks before the men’s road race, which should be sufficient recovery time.
This will be the third time that Sagan rides the Vuelta a España since turning professional in 2010. He made his Grand Tour debut at the 2011 edition of the race, impressing with his all-round skill that helped him towards 3 stage wins. Sagan failed to take a win at last year’s race but the tough terrain early on could favour the Slovakian as he searches for his first Grand Tour stage win in two years.
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