Sagan had been dropping hints that he would ride the final Grand Tour of the season but pulled out of the European Championships road race in Glasgow on Sunday, explaining he was still suffering with pain in his hip and back after his crash on a descent of stage 17 at the Tour de France.
He is expected to ride Sunday’s EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg and then head to Málaga, where the Vuelta starts on Saturday August 25. Sagan has confirmed he will ride the World Championships road race in Innsbruck, Austria at the end of September despite having little chance of taking a fourth consecutive victory on the hilly circuit.
“I will try to fight for my best at the end of the season,” Sagan said in Glasgow.
Sagan has not ridden the Vuelta a España since 2015. He made his Grand Tour debut – and his name as a sprinter – at the 2011 edition, where he won three stages and the points classification while riding in support of then Liquigas team leader Vincenzo Nibali. He returned in 2014 and 2015 but his race ended abruptly when he was clipped by a race motorbike during stage 8 and crashed at speed.
Sagan will have support for the sprint finishes at the Vuelta from German veteran Markus Burghardt, Jay McCarthy, Michael Schwarzmann and Austria’s Lukas Pöstlberger.
Bora-Hansgrohe will target the overall classification and the many mountain finishes with Majka, Formolo and talented young German rider Emanuel Buchmann. He finished 15th in last year’s Tour de France, was seventh at the recent Tour de Pologne and sixth at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. Formolo, also 25, was 10th overall at the Giro d’Italia and ninth at the 2016 Vuelta a España. Majka was 19th at the Tour de France and third in the mountains classification after riding strongly in the Pyrenees in the final week.
While Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome have opted to ride the Tour of Britain, the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Thibaut Pinot, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis, Adam and Simon Yates, Ilnur Zakarin and Rigoberto Uran will all be in action in Spain.
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