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Unfinished business for Adam Yates at Tirreno-Adriatico

Mon 5 Mar 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT go into the 53rd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico this week with modest ambitions, but solid options for stage results and a tilt at the overall general classification.

Ninth on GC in 2015 Adam Yates returns to the seven-day stage race after being forced out through illness in 2017 and will be the protected rider for the overall with Tour Down Under stage winner Caleb Ewan set to take the lead in the sprints.

Ewan’s lead out train includes Slovenian national road race champion Luka Mezgec and New Zealander Jack Bauer with Australian time trial specialists Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn also on hand for pace and power.

2018 Tour Down Under winner and dual South African national road and time trial champion Daryl Impey completes the line-up with the strong squad boasting versatile options for each of the seven stages.

Opening with a pan flat 21.5kilometre team time trial on the Tuscan coast the race will head south for what should be a day for the sprinters on stage two followed by a rolling parcours and uphill kick for the puncheurs on stage three.

The queen stage comes on stage four with repeated categorised climbs coming before a summit finish in Sassotetto. The fifth stage has been named the ‘wall climbing stage’ with a series of short, but brutally steep climbs to be tackled before the finish.

A final opportunity for the sprinters arrives on stage six with two flat 12.8kilometre finishing circuits around Fano on the Adriatic coast before the race concludes with the traditional individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Team:

Jack Bauer (NZL, 32)

Luke Durbridge (AUS, 26)

Caleb Ewan (AUS, 23)

Michael Hepburn (AUS, 26)

Daryl Impey (RSA, 32)

Luka Mezgec (SLO, 29)

Adam Yates (GBR, 25)

Objectives:

One of the strongest fields in recent history is set to line up for the 2018 race with some of the world’s best sprinters and Grand Tour riders competing for glory. Mitchelton-SCOTT will be looking to make the most of the versatility within the squad for the varied stage finishes.

Yates will be the team’s focus for the overall with the task of gaining time and a good foothold on the hillier stages whilst Ewan will lead the team in the two clear sprints stages.

Race History:

2017 – Yates third on stage 4

2017 – Hepburn third on stage 7 (ITT)

2016 – Ewan second on stage 3

2015 – Yates ninth overall on GC

2012 - Stage 1 victory (TTT)

Adam Yates – Ninth 2015:

“We have a super strong team for Tirreno-Adriatico this week, not just for the opening team time trial but also a strong lead-out group for Caleb and options for every stage so we will be looking to have a go every time we can.”

“Last year I was in good condition and was sitting high up on GC before unfortunately getting sick and having to abandon halfway through the race. For sure there is a feeling of unfinished business with this race.”

Head Sport director Matt White:

“We have split ambitions for Tirreno-Adriatico, we are aiming for a stage result or two and also be up there competing on the general classification. There’s plenty of versatility within the team and a couple of stages could suit us, with competition being incredibly strong this year, it will certainly make for a tough race.”

“As ever it will be important to get a solid result in the team time trial on the opening day, a bad result can totally change the complexion of the race before the real racing has even started and we will need to be competitive.

“It will be a good race for Adam to test himself and his form against a world class field of riders whilst also gaining some more good preparation ahead of some big season objectives coming up. It will be a good test for Caleb too against the best sprint field of the season so far.”

The Race 7th – 13th March:

Wednesday 7th March, stage 1: Lido di Camaiore, 21.5km (TTT)

Thursday 8th March, stage 2: Camaiore to Follonica, 167km

Friday 9th March, stage 3: Follonica to Trevi, 239km

Saturday 10th March, stage 4: Foligno to Sarnano, 219km

Sunday 11th March, stage 5: Castelraimondo to Filottrano, 178km

Monday 12th March, stage 6: Numana to Fano, 153km

Tuesday 13th March, stage 7: San Benedetto del Tronto, 10m (ITT)

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

 

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