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Sagan arrives early for Aussie tour

AAP logoAAP 28/12/2016 Tim Dornin

The previous time world road cycling champion Peter Sagan raced at the Tour Down Under he was a new pro making his debut on the international stage.

He returns to the race next month as the rock star of world cycling and a dominant figure in the professional peloton.

Sagan arrived in Adelaide on Wednesday, opting to ditch the cold European winter for Australia's summer sunshine and an extended preparation.

He will headline his new team Bora-Hansgrohe at the SA race, where he made his only previous appearance in his ProTour debut in 2010.

Since then the 26-year-old Slovakian has won two world road championships, seven stages at the Tour de France, five Green jerseys as the French tour's best sprinter and some of the sport's top one-day classics, including the 2016 Tour of Flanders.

He also delights fans with his antics, pulling wheelies mid-race, bouncing his bike down stairs and over cars on one wheel and with his flamboyant victory celebrations.

Sagan says with a new team it's important for him to get the 2017 season off to a good start and there's no better place to do that than in Adelaide.

"We did our first team camp in December and it was very good. The team have brought in a lot of good people.

"I just want to do my best for the team and we will see what we can do."

Sagan will spend almost three weeks training in Adelaide before the tour begins on January 15, using his early arrival to build fitness for the year ahead.

"It's good weather and I can work hard. It's better than being on the home trainer," he said.

In his previous appearance at the Tour Down Under Sagan had mixed fortunes and a fall on stage two led to him having stitches in an arm and a leg.

But in the race to the top of Willunga Hill during stage five he joined an attack with Cadel Evans and Spanish great Alejandro Valverde and finished fifth.

Sagan said his performances in 2010 made him realise that he was capable of matching it with the world's best.

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