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Peter Sagan to race Vuelta a Espana as preparation for World Championships

Joe Robinson
17 Aug 2018

Buchamnn will look for GC top 10 while Majka and Sagan will hunt for stage victories

Peter Sagan will form part of a strong Bora-Hansgrohe team for the Vuelta a Espana as the three-time World Champion prepares his assault for a fourth consecutive rainbow jersey in Innsbruck, Austria next month. 

Bora-Hansgrohe announced that Sagan would head to the Spanish Grand Tour at the end of the month in search of stage wins alongside Polish climber Rafal Majka, while teammate Emanuel Buchmann will enter the race as the team leader. 

Beyond racing for stage success, Sagan confirmed he will use the tough parcour of the Vuelta as a final preparation before the World Championships, which take place on Sunday 30th September.

The Slovakian is chasing an unprecedented fourth-consecutive World title and despite the course not suiting his riding style, he believes the Vuelta could help him towards a surprise victory. 

'I decided to race the Vuelta this year, as it fits perfectly into my preparations for the World Championships in Innsbruck,' Sagan said.

'We’ll have to see how my crash at the Tour still affects me, but I feel I am on a good way back to my best. There are a lot of interesting stages at the Vuelta.

'We have a really strong team here in Spain, and a lot of cards to play when it comes to stage wins - and of course I’ll also try to take one as well.'

This year's course in Innsbruck-Tirol looks set to be one of the toughest courses of all time with 4,670m of vertical elevation across the 252.9km route.

This includes seven ascents of the Igls climb (7.9km at 5.7%) before a final ascent of the 'Hell climb', 2.8km at 11.5% with extended pitches above 25%. 

The route is not a natural fit for Sagan but it would be foolish to discount him for victory, considering his versatility and ability to win on varied terrain.

So far this season, Sagan took victories at Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem before winning three stages and the green sprinter's jersey at the Tour de France

As for Bora at the Vuelta, team manager Ralph Denk has set the team a goal of a top 10 in General Classification and at least one stage victory.  

This would round off an impressive season for the team which has already taken its first Monument victory and six Grand Tour stages.

'Buchmann is very well prepared and already had lots of strong results in 2018. We are expecting at least a top 10 in the final GC, but depending on how the race develops, I think he can do even better than that,' explained Denk.

'With Peter and Rafal we have two more cards to play when it comes to stage wins. We’ll have to see how Peter recovered from his crash in the Tour, but I am confident that we’ll have a very strong team out there.'

Bora-Hansgrohe Vuelta a Espana 2018 team

Peter Sagan (SLO)
Marcus Burghardt (GER)
Rafal Majka (POL)
Lukas Postlberger (AUS)
Emanuel Buchmann (GER)
Micharl Schwarzmann (GER)
Davide Formolo (ITA)
Jay McCarthy (AUS)