Mark Cavendish to start Tirreno-Adriatico after recovering from concussion - News Shorts

Grosu leads Nippo, Firsanov leads Gazprom in the mountains, Sportful introduces classification jerseys for Tirreno-Adriatico

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) has recovered from a concussion sustained in a crash in Abu Dhabi and will start Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday.

Cavendish took one week off the bike on medical advice following the crash, which took place in the neutralized zone of the first stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour.

"I'm looking forward to getting back together with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka at Tirreno-Adriatico," Cavendish said in a team press release.

"Unfortunately, my form isn't going to be what I'd hoped after my week off the bike following my concussion, but we go with intentions of building that form back up, ready for the Classics.

"There are two sprint opportunities for myself, and it'll be nice to race with my new teammate Louis Meintjes and see what we can do with him in the mountain days in the overall."

Cavendish will have support for the expected sprints in stages 2 and 6 from teammates Bernhard Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Scott Thwaites and Julien Vermote, who narrowly missed the victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Edvald Boasson-Hagen will also be in the line up, but the team noted that he is building slowly into his season.

The team will rely on Meintjes for the climbs on stages 3, 4 and 5, and for the overall classification. The stage race begins with a team time trial and ends with an individual time trial.

Dimension Data roster for Tirreno-Adriatico: Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Scott Thwaites, Julien Vermote, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Louis Meintjes

Mark Cavendish back at his team car

Cunego, Grosu lead Nippo Vini Fantini at Tirreno-Adriatico

Damiano Cunego and Eduard Grosu will lead Nippo Vini Fantini at Tirreno-Adriatico on the climbs and in the sprints, respectively. The seven-day race starts on Wednesday with a team time trial in Lido di Camaiore.

Team director Mario Manzoni says there are enough climbs, sprints and time trials during the seven days of racing for everyone to have some success.

The team noted that Cunego and Ivan Santaromita are the two climbers. Grosu is the designated sprinter and time triallist, while road captain Marco Canola will help in the sprints and punchy stages. The team also includes young Italian Nicola Bagioli, Japanese rider Sho Hatsuyama and Italian veteran Simone Ponzi.

"Tirreno-Adriatico is a very important Italian race of the WorldTour calendar, so every stage will be a real challenge for us. But our line-up has a very good motivation coming from a very good race in Larciano," the team said in a press release. "There will be room for each one of our riders. Eduard Grosu will be our main sprinter for sure for the 2nd and maybe for the 6th stage.

"Marco Canola and Nicola Bagioli are in a very good condition and could have an important role in stage 3. As climbers we have Ivan Santaromita, Damiano Cunego for the central stages and to help the team the experience of Simone Ponzi, while Sho Hatsuyama at his first Tirreno-Adriatico could learn a lot and be ready for some important breakaway."

Nippo Vini Fantini Europa Ovini roster for Tirreno-Adriatico: Marco Canola, Damiano Cunego, Ivan Santaromita, Nicola Bagioli, Eduard Grosu, Sho Hatsuyama, Simone Ponzi.

Firsanov sets up for the mountain stages at Tirreno-Adriatico

Sergey Firsanov is Gazprom-Rusvelo's most experienced rider in the team's line-up for Tirreno-Adriatico, and the 35-year-old Russian is targeting the climbs on stages 3, 4 and 5 during the seven-day race. The Professional Continental team earned a wildcard invitation to compete at the WorldTour race.

"Our line-up consists of three young newcomers for whom it will be definitely the central race of the season and a chance to justify themselves," Firsanov said.

"Personally, I am setting up for the mountainous stage, on the other days I will be assisting my teammates. Of course, it is a great honor for our team to get the invitation to such a big race, and we will do everything's possible to justify it."

Gazprom-Rusvelo roster for Tirreno-Adriatico: Igor Boev, Nikolay Cherkasov, Alexander Foliforov, Sergey Firsanov, Artem Nych, Stepan Kurianov, Alexander Vlasov.

Sportful introduces classification jerseys for 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico

Sportful will sponsor the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico with the leader's jerseys and the brand-new orange jersey of the points classification.

"We strongly believe in this race. The opportunity was at the same time to equip the race and to directly sponsor one of the Tirreno-Adriatico jerseys. We couldn't resist, and we're thankful to RCS for the chance to adapt the points classification jersey into our orange color," Dario Cremonese said in a company press release.

"This color has always been tied with the history of the brand. It inspires energy and passion, the same energy and passion the sprinters will need every day to get the jersey."

The race starts March 7 in Lido di Camaiore and concludes March 13 in San Benedetto del Tronto.The event will also have a white youth classification jersey and a green mountain classification jersey.

 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico blue leader's jersey

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