Vincenzo Nibali is set to make his Bahrain-Merida racing debut on January 23-29 at the Vuelta a San Juan, with Tom Boonen and Gaviria also present.
A total of four World Tour teams have been scheduled to participate in the race at Argentina. The competing teams include; Bahrain-Merida, Quick-Step, Trek-Segafredo and Tj Sport. Although the fate of Tj sport remains uncertain as they are yet to secure sponsorship, and still awaiting the UCl license.
The Vuelta a San Juan was inaugurated in1982 with the famous Bernard Hinault participating in the race, before going on to win the Tour de France. The 2017 edition of the race will be the first time an international field has arrived at the race.
Nibali is certainly no stranger to racing in Argentina having used the now defunct Tour de San Luis as part of his New Year racing program in previous seasons.
He has his eyes set on winning the Giro d’Italia for the third time in his career, and plans to use the race at the Vuelta a San Juan to kick start preparations.
Other riders who will be competing at the Giro d’Italia next spring are Mollema and Giacomo Nizzolo. Mollema is scheduled to lead the Trek-Segafredo team, while his teammate Alberto Contador makes his 2017 debut in Europe later in the New Year.
Should the TJ Sport team secure a sponsorship and UCl license, they would present a strong squad to the race with former World Champion Darwin Atapuma, Andrea Guardini, and Rui Costa on their roster.
The race will be held over 891 kilometers, and spread over seven stages. The Pro Continental teams that would be participate at the race include; Nippo-Fantini, Wilier Triestina-Selle, Italia Bardiani-CSF, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, UnitedHealthcare, and Androni Giocattoli.