World champion Julian Alaphilippe and race debutant Remco Evenepoel combine forces against the winner of Strade Bianche Tadej Pogacar
The 57th Tirreno-Adriatico Eolo will take place from Lido di Camaiore to San Benedetto del Tronto (March 7-13) with a star studded field competing once again. Defending champion Tadej Pogacar is the hot favourite, having already dominated both the UAE Tour and Strade Bianche. Despite his crash on Saturday, world champion Julian Alaphilippe has confirmed his participation in the Race of the Two Seas, along with Remco Evenepoel who will take to the start for the first time, following his overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve. Among the other big names set to line up for the opening individual time trial (13.9km) are Miguel Angel Lopez, Damiano Caruso, Rigoberto Uran, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jakob Fuglsang, Jonas Vingegaard, Enric Mas, Richard Carapaz, Richie Porte, Romain Bardet and Giulio Ciccone. Other riders include Filippo Ganna, Greg Van Avermaet, who is the only other former winner of the event (2016), Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Tim Merlier, Arnaud Démare, Elia Viviani, Alexander Kristoff, Michael Matthews and Caleb Ewan.
Tomorrow the first rider to start in Stage 1 ITT will be Leonardo Basso at 14:10. The last one will be Tadej Pogačar at 16:56.
Tadej Pogacar: “It will be my first time racing against Remco Evenepoel in a stage race. I expect him to be fast in the time trial tomorrow. In the big climbs, we’ll see. I cannot tell how good he is on that kind of terrain but he showed so far that he’s really good. As a team, we are getting stronger every year, but I don’t think people are afraid of us, it’s just a bike race.”
Peter Sagan: “I got Covid for the second time in January. I had a training camp in Gran Canaria after and I started racing in France before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. I got a little flu this week but it’s already passed. What I’ll be able to do in this race depends on my condition and I’m still looking for my good condition. The real season starts now.”
Filippo Ganna: “We have great captains with Richard [Carapaz] and Richie [Porte], we’ll be at their service, notably in the climbs but there are riders more specialized than me in climbing and it’s difficult for me to follow Tadej Pogacar. I hope he’ll be tired after Strade Bianche but I know he recovers well and quickly. I hope he won’t beat me in the time trial but nothing is impossible.”
Giulio Ciccone: “For sure this is a very important race to measure myself against the great champions. My condition is not bad but it’s not easy to compete against Tadej [Pogacar]. The level of the peloton has raised significantly in the past two or three years. My numbers are close to those of 2019. I hope things will turn in my favour and I want to take advantage of this race to prepare for further goals.”