Julian Alaphilippe and Elia Viviani will hope to continue their impressive start to the season at the “Race of the Two Seas”.
Four days after notching up his maiden victory on Italian soil at Strade Bianche, Julian Alaphilippe will be lining out for the 54th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico (13-19 March), the seventh World Tour appointment of the year and a race again bookended by time trials, but which puts on the table a completely different route than the one of the past years, without a mountain top finish and more suited to the puncheurs, who’ll find many stages to their liking and even have a shot at topping the overall classification.
Pomarance, Fossombrone and Recanati, with their narrow and twisty roads and viciously steep hills whose maximum gradients reach 20%, will weigh heavily in the final outcome, especially as the end of each stage will bring into play also vital bonus seconds for the first three riders. Between the Lido di Camaiore TTT (21.5km) and the individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto (10km), also the sprinters will get a few chances to shine, at Foligno and Jesi.
Having already won three races this season, in Australia and the United Arab Amirates, Elia Viviani will ride in his home country for the first time since coming out on top at the Italian Championships last June, and the 30-year-old will be looking to add to his impressive palmares, backed by a robust Deceuninck – Quick-Step team also containing Kasper Asgreen, Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert, Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv, Maximiliano Richeze and Tirreno-Adriatico stage victor Zdenek Stybar.
“We’ve always started Tirreno-Adriatico with a good result in the team time trial and we hope it will be the case also now. The route is different than in the past years, without a long ascent to favour the pure climbers, which means we should see other riders in the mix for the GC. Our team, as you could see, is very strong, doesn’t lack options for any of the seven stages and arrives at the start buoyed by our string of superb performances in the past weeks”, said sports director Davide Bramati.
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