Kreuziger and Sagan lead Tinkoff in Tirreno-Adriatico

Taking riders from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic coast, the seven-stage Tirreno-Adriatico Italian race has attracted a star-studded line-up for its 51st edition, beginning on Wednesday in Lido di Camaiore. Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger are part of a strong Tinkoff roster, aiming to leave an impression on this WorldTour race.

The ‘Race of the Two Seas’ begins its 51st edition in Lido di Camaiore on Wednesday with a team time trial on a flat course through this popular seaside destination. Considered a key part of preparation for the Milan-Sanremo race, the Tirreno-Adriatico brings GC riders, climbers, sprinters and time trial specialists alike, all looking to make their mark.

After another strong performance at Strade Bianche last weekend, Sagan sees the race as an important gauge of fitness. “Tirreno-Adriatico is an important race to assess our form ahead of the Classics but also to see what goals we can have for Milano-Sanremo. It’s a race I like a lot and that’s why I’m here to take part.”

Sport Director, Lars Michaelsen, sees the race playing an important part in the team’s calendar. “Overall, this is an important race for the guys to sharpen their form and come back hopefully stronger for Milan-Sanremo. A lot of the guys here will be heading into the cobblestone classics after so it’s a good opportunity to get the racing kilometres in the legs.”

“We have Peter Sagan here, and we have a strong team to race for stage success with him. Roman is a bit a question mark as he is returning from sickness, so we will see how he develops in the race. Overall, hopefully we’ll have some good weather, no crashes, and stay healthy ahead of an important part of the season.”

Joining Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger will be Daniele Bennati, Adam Blythe, Manuele Boaro, Maciej Bodnar, Oscar Gatto and Evgeny Petrov, making up a team that will be on a strong position to challenge for the win on multiple stages, as well as push for a strong finish on the General Classification. The parcours takes in different types of terrain, however the GC riders will be looking to make their mark on stages 4 and 5, where the race encounters the bigger categorised climbs.

“We have the initial 22.7km-long team time trial, which goes round our owner’s house, Oleg Tinkov. This will be a proud moment for both Oleg and the team and so it’s a stage we hope that we can perform well at.” Michaelsen continues, “Stage 2 is a long stage at 207km. This sees us head south, pass Pisa, down to Cecina, before heading inland from the coast towards the climbs. Before the finish town there are a few climbs, one quite close to the finish, so this is a good opportunity for Peter to go for a stage result.”

“Another opportunity comes for Peter on day 3. The race stays inland over typical Tuscan climbs, then heads to the coast towards Montalto di Castro. This is usually a sprinters stage, but depending on the GC anything could happen with a breakaway. Stage 5 is the first big uphill finish. It’s a long climb but it comes in stages with plateaus, breaking up the rhythm for the climbers. It could be a good chance for Roman here,” concludes Michaelsen.

Peter Sagan added: “I head to the start with the goal to bring home a stage win but we will have to take each day as it comes. We will have to see how I feel every day and what we can achieve. In my opinion we have a strong squad and we will all give our best to obtain the best GC result for Roman Kreuziger. Last but certainly not least, it’s important to win the first stage, the team time-trial in Lido di Camaiore. It is Oleg Tinkov’s home, so victory there would have a special meaning for our team.”