Peter Sagan will ride both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France next season.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider will be making his debut in the Italian Grand Tour as he looks to complete the set of stage victories in three-week races, and will compete for the points classification.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
But Sagan will not be sacrificing the Tour de France in order to race the Giro, but will instead also be lining up in Nice in July.
Announcing his decision to ride the Giro, Sagan said: “In the last ten 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.
“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.
“This is why I’m delighted to announce that on May 9, I will be on the starting line in Budapest, ready to tackle this iconic Grand Tour for the first time.”
The Giro’s start in Hungary may also be one of the motivations for Sagan starting the race next year, as Budapest is just 260km south of Sagan’s hometown Žilina in Slovakia.
Sagan added: “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 from the Slovak crowds will be felt along the course.”
Rumours that Sagan would ride the Giro began to emerge earlier this week when race organiser RCS announced that the 29-year-old would be attending the route presentation in Milan on Thursday (May 24).
Sagan then posted on Twitter that big news would be announced later in the week.
Bora-Hansgrohe Ralph Denk said: “I have always said that Peter’s race program would change in the future. For next year’s season he’ll have the Giro in his program, where he’ll be involved in the fight for the points classification.
“A champion like Peter should, in my opinion, be at the Giro at least once in his career. For me, it also shows respect towards the Giro, a traditional event within our sport. I have not yet examined the route in detail, however, traditionally the Giro contains several stages that suit Peter.
“Having said this, the fans in France should not worry, as Peter will also be competing in the Tour de France in July.”