Sagan to compete in 1st Giro, Carapaz likely to defend title

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              Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz poses with the 103rd cycling tour of Italy's trophy during the official presentation in Milan, northern Italy, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. The Giro d'Italia will start in Budapest with an 8.6km individual time trial. Twenty-one stages will be raced, first in Hungary and then Italy, from 9 to 31 May 2019, to crown the 2020's winner. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)
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MILAN (AP) — Three-time world champion Peter Sagan will compete in the Giro d’Italia for the first time next year — and then could quit cycling.

The Slovakian has never ridden the Giro, making it the only Grand Tour stage victory he lacks from a much-decorated 10-year professional career.

Sagan announced his decision to compete in the famous Italian race — as well as the Tour de France — during the presentation of the route of the 2020 Giro, at a televised event in Milan on Thursday.

The 29-year-old, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, then hinted he could retire.

“I always said that I want to do the Giro before I finish my career,” Sagan told reporters. “Then maybe after Giro I can finish my career.”

When complimented on the “joke,” Sagan replied: “How do you know it is joke?”

When pressed still further about it, he would only say: “Who knows.”

Next year’s Giro starts in Hungary, which borders Sagan’s native Slovakia.

Sagan also has several ties to Italy — he used to live in the country, speaks the language, and turned professional with the Italian-based Liquigas team.

Richard Carapaz, who became the first rider from Ecuador to win a Grand Tour with his triumph in this year’s Giro, said he wants to defend his title but that the decision ultimately lies with Team Ineos, which he will join from the start of next season.

“I can’t guarantee it but I really think I will be there,” Carapaz said. “I will do my utmost to be there.”

The 102nd edition of the race runs from May 9-31 and consists of 21 days of racing, totaling 3,579.8 kilometers (2224.4 miles) between the start in Budapest and the finish in Milan.

There are seven summit finishes, and a total of more than 45,000 meters of vertical elevation.

Here are some aspects of the 2020 race: