Versatile Mitchelton-Scott squad for Tirreno-Adriatico

Adam Yates for GC, Ewan leads sprint aims

Australian WorldTour outfit Mitchelton-Scott head to Tirreno-Adriatico with the dual ambitions of stage wins with Caleb Ewan and a strong GC result via Adam Yates.

The inclusion of Daryl Impey, Michael Hepburn, Luke Durbridge and Jack Bauer in the team for the race ensure Mitchelton-Scott will be a favourite for the opening stage team time trial. The team won the 2012 team time trial and sports director Matt White believes the Lido di Camaiore test will be key to the final general classification.

"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," said White.

Sitting second overall before illness forced his withdrawal from the race last year, Yates is aiming to build on his fourth place at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana to start the season.

"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," said Yates.

"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."

Although the team is titled toward Ewan's sprint aims more than Yates' climbing capabilities, White believes his riders can contest for stage wins on all seven days of racing.

"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," said White. "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.

"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."

Ewan started his season with a stage win at the Tour Down Under and then won the Clasica de Almeria on his European race debut for 2018. A series of top-five placings followed at the Abu Dhabi Tour. The Australian will have Luka Mezgec as his lead-out man with Bauer, Impey, Hepburn and Durbridge also likely to be used in the train.

The 'race of the two seas' starts with the 21.5-kilometre time trial in Lido di Camaiore with the first road stage of the race to take the peloton from Camaiore to Follonica. The 'queen stage' of the race is Saturday's 219km trek to Sarnano Sottotetto. Tirreno-Adriatico then concludes with the 10km out and back time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Mitchelton-Scott for 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico: Jack Bauer, Luke Durbridge, Caleb Ewan, Michael Hepburn, Daryl Impey, Luka Mezgec and Adam Yates.

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