Dimension Data will go hunting for stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico with Mark Cavendish, Stephen Cummings and Edvald Boasson Hagen all going to the Italian stage race. The 2017 Race of the Two Seas is an undulating ride from Lido di Camaiore to San Benedetto del Tronto with few true sprint opportunities, but there are perhaps four chances of victory for that trio over the week.
The remainder of the line-up heavily lends its self to targeting stage wins with lead-out man Mark Renshaw, road captain Bernhard Eisel, Jay Robert Thomson, Johann van Zyl and Scott Thwaites completing the eight-man team.
Dimension Data enjoyed a successful Tirreno-Adriatico in 2016 with Cummings taking a solo win in Foligno on stage 4. Tirreno-Adriatico will only be Cummings’ second race of the year, with the opening day his third day of racing. He rode at the Volta ao Algarve but abandoned during stage 2 and has not raced since.
Cavendish and Boasson Hagen have both previously found success at Tirreno-Adriatico. Cavendish has won three sprint stages – in 2009, 2012 and 2014 – as well as two team time trial victories. Last year, Cavendish was in the midst of his Olympic Games track preparation, having just come out of the Track World Championships, and was unable to truly challenge in the sprints. This time out, Cavendish will be gearing up for Milan-San Remo and will be hoping for a stronger performance. Cavendish secured his first victory of the season with a win on the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour last month.
“Tirreno-Adriatico was a great race for us last year. It was the race where we really kicked off our World Tour victories with Steve so we have good memories from racing in Italy,” said directeur sportif Roger Hammond. “Furthermore, with our team being based in Lucca, it feels a little bit like our home race so of course the guys get a bit more motivated for it. The terrain here is also well-suited for the team we are bringing, with a couple of sprint stages for Mark and some undulating and hilly stages for Steve and Edvald. We are looking forward to getting some good results and hopefully it goes as well for us as it did last year.”
Dimension Data for Tirreno-Adriatico: Steve Cummings, Scott Thwaites, Bernhard Eisel, Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Renshaw, Jay Thomson and Johann Van Zyl.