Peter Sagan will re-jig his early season schedule and return to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as he warms up for the spring Classics and attempts to re-find the form that has delivered him many major victories over the years.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider will open his 2020 account at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, instead of at the Tour Down Under as he has for the three previous seasons, before returning to Europe for the Belgian race on February 29th.
Sagan has ridden Omloop Het Nieuwsblad three times previously, he placed 66th on his debut in 2010 before finishing runner-up to Greg Van Avermaet in both 2016 and 2017.
In 2019, the one-day race was deemed too much for an early season schedule that included the Tour Down Under and Vuelta a San Juan in January, followed by a Sierra Nevada altitude training camp in February.
It has not yet been confirmed whether Sagan will follow up Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, which he won on his last participation in 2017, or Dwars door Vlaanderen, which he has never won, although the Slovakian is on the provisional start list for the Flandrian race for the first time.
It is likely Sagan will once again target three of the Monuments up for grabs in the first half of the year, having won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix just once before, and a Milan – San Remo victory alluding him thus far.
As for the rest of his season, Sagan will make his Giro d’Italia debut before going on to ride the Tour de France, where he will look to extend his record of seven green jersey victories.
At the time of the announcement, 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.”
After a 2019 season that returned less than the truckload of victories fans have come to expect of the 29-year-old, Sagan rode a reduced schedule in the latter half of the year, focusing on peaking for the Yorkshire Worlds road race, where he finished fifth.
With the Tokyo Olympic road race too hilly for Sagan, he also ruled out returning to compete in the mountain bike event, as he did at Rio 2016, saying he doesn’t have the time to prepare and qualify for it.