Quintana, Nibali, Aru, Pinot and Mollema are among the favourites for the overall victory. The Olympic Champion and 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico winner Van Avermaet and World Champion Sagan are at the start – along with many top sprinters. The race will be broadcast in 184 countries in five continents. Attached is the start list and the starting order of the Team Time Trial and other materials.
The main contenders for the General Classification – Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) to name just a few – will battle on Saturday’s Terminillo summit finish. The finisseurs, including the Olympic Road Race gold medalist and reigning Tirreno-Adriatico champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and two-time World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), have targeted the second and fifth stages. The sprinters, featuring Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), will fight for stages 3 and 6.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team): “Maybe if it starts snowing I’ll win Tirreno-Adriatico again! Last year it was a bit of luck on my side with the weather. To be honest, I think it’s impossible to win it another time. I’m here to try and win a stage and build up my shape for the classics.”
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’ve been sick on the weekend but now I feel good. I rode 100km of the Strade Bianche, then I didn’t touch my bike for two days. We’ll see tomorrow if I’m healthy enough for racing again.”
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team): “The idea is to have a good Tirreno-Adriatico like two years ago. I’d like to win the title again. We have a great team for that. We’re all in a good condition but whether we win or not depends on our rivals too. The level of this race is very high.”
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “This is going to be a complicated Tirreno-Adriatico, and I’m looking to find my best condition. This race will provide a lot of signals to help me understand where I am in terms of competitiveness ahead of the Giro d’Italia and the rest of the season.”
Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team): “This is my first time taking part in Tirreno-Adriatico, so I don’t know exactly what to expect. For sure the competition is high. My condition is pretty good. I crashed on Saturday at the Strade Bianche, but I recovered quite well. I’m hoping for doing a good race here.”
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ): “I rode the Strade Bianche for training mostly and my real objective is Tirreno-Adriatico. I strongly hope to win it… but I’d be happy with a place on the final podium.”
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “I’ve done Tirreno-Adriatico for the past three or four years. It feels good to be back but the difference with last year is that the Giro d’Italia is a big goal for me. This is the first big WorldTour race: the level is very high and so are our ambitions.”
Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb): “I’m looking forward to the time trial but I’ve been working on my climbing skills in the last couple of months. I have a GC goal in mind here.”
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky): “I’ve had a very different preparation for this part of the season compared to last year when I won Paris-Nice. I went to South Africa for a training camp with Chris Froome and I’m yet to know what I can take from there. Unfortunately, the weather was bad.”
Adam Yates (Orica-Scott): “It’s always good to get a win [GP Larciano last Sunday] so early in the season. But the level is quite high here. The last stage is a time trial and I’m not a specialist.”
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team): “It would be nice to be the first American to win Tirreno-Adriatico. Everything is possible. The Terminillo will be a difficult test with all these riders… but I’m here with the mentality of fighting for GC.”
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): “I believe I’m on good form, but there are a lot of strong riders here. I’m back looking for a stage victory like last year. Moreover, I want to give a good spectacle. The strongest will win the sprints and I hope I’ll be that one.”
Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): “I’m not a different rider after I won a stage in Abu Dhabi, but obviously, beating all these guys gave me more confidence for the sprints and I hope to come up with another win here as well.”
Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data): “As a team with Dimension Data, we won a stage here last year with Stephen Cummings. We’d like to repeat that. Personally, I fell sick after the Abu Dhabi Tour and I just hope to have recovered for Tirreno-Adriatico.”