Sagan will be in search of stage wins along with Rafal Majka, who had attempted a GC challenge at the Tour de France in July before falling out of contention. German Emanuel Buchmann will lead the team’s overall challenge in Spain.
Three-time world champion Sagan will use the race a preparation for the difficult climbing test in the World Championships road race in Innsbruck-Tirol in September, where he’ll try to claim an historic fourth consecutive title.
The 28-year-old has already had a successful season, winning Paris-Roubaix for the first time before taking three stage wins and a sixth green jersey at the Tour de France in July.
Sagan crashed on stage 17 of the Tour to Col du Portet and struggled through the remainder of the race with injuries he sustained. He returned to racing at the European Championships road race last Sunday, but was forced to pull abandon with 80km to go after again struggling with injuries.
He’ll race at the EuroEyes Cyclassics one-day race in Germany on Sunday before heading to Spain for the Vuelta the following weekend. Sagan said he is beginning to feel back to his best but remained cautious of how his Tour injuries could still affect him.
“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.”
Sagan has not raced the Vuelta since 2015, when a collision with a race motorbike forced him to abandon with injury before stage nine of the race.
This year’s Vuelta feature nine summit finishes through the three weeks. With only a few sprint stages on offer, Sagan will face competition from the likes of Elia Viviani (Quick-Step) and Phil Bauhaus (Sunweb) in the bunch finishes.
Bora-Hansgrohe team for Vuelta a España 2018
Emanuel Buchmann will lead the team’s GC challenge while Rafal Majka will go in search of stage wins