(Reuters) – Triple world champion Peter Sagan will skip the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this year in order to take part in the Giro d’Italia for the first time, his Bora-Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk said on Tuesday.
The Slovak was due to participate in both the cobbled classics and the Giro but the reshuffled, tightly packed racing calendar due to the COVID-19 crisis meant the rider had to make some tough choices.
“I gave my word to the Giro (organizers) that Peter would take part and he also gave his word. We keep our promises,” Denk said.
The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which Sagan won in 2016 and 2018 respectively, are usually scheduled in April with the Giro taking place in May.
This year, however, all three races will be held in October after racing was suspended from mid-March until the end of July to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Sagan will re-start his season on Aug. 1 at the Strade Bianche before trying to win the Milan-San Remo Monument classic on Aug. 8 for the first time.
He will also take part in the Aug. 27-Sept. 20 Tour de France, where he will be looking to claim a record-extending eighth green jersey for the points classification.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson