Peter Sagan will attempt the grand tour double in 2020.
On Thursday, Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe released news that the Slovakian champion will race both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France next season. The decision marks the first time that Sagan will race Italy’s grand tour since he launched his professional career in 2010.
Sagan attended the Giro’s course presentation on Thursday.
“In the last 10 years I have had the opportunity and privilege to compete, many times, in some of the most prestigious races held in Italy, but I always felt that something was missing, the Giro d’Italia,” Sagan said in a statement. “I don’t think there is any rider that doesn’t dream of taking part in the Corsa Rosa, one of the most beautiful and challenging races in the world.”
Sagan tied his connection to Italy with his first-career world championships. In 2008 Sagan won the junior world cross-country mountain bike title at Val di Sole in Trentino. Sagan also referenced the Giro’s start in Hungary as a reason for his participation.
The 2020 race opens in Budapest, not far from Sagan’s home country of Slovakia.
“It will certainly not be an easy race but I look forward to it,” Sagan said. “With the Grande Partenza and the first three stages held in Hungary, next year’s Giro d’Italia will also give me the chance to race so close to Slovakia and I’m sure the cheers of the Slovak crowds will be felt along the course.”
The decision means Sagan will skip the Amgen Tour of California for the first since 2009. Sagan has become the most prolific winner in the race’s history with 17 stage wins, as well as the overall GC victory from 2015.
In recent years, Sagan had used the American race, as well as a training camp in Utah, as a mid-season fitness boost before the Tour de France. Sagan raced California, then trained in Utah, before competing in the Tour de Suisse.
Whether Sagan participates in any races between the Giro and the Tour is yet to be seen. This coming year the Giro runs May 9-31 and the Tour will be held a week earlier than normal, running June 27 through July 19, to accommodate the summer Olympic games in Tokyo.
Ralph Denk, manager of Bora-Hansgrohe, said Sagan will contend for the Giro d’Italia’s points jersey in his debut.
“A champion like Peter should, in my opinion, be at the Giro at least once in his career,” Denk said. “For me, it also shows respect towards the Giro, a traditional event within our sport.”