Tirreno-Adriatico will start as it has done for the past three seasons with a team time trial in Lido di Camaiore. It was supposed to start that way back in 2015, but storms forced a shorter individual effort.
The route will match that of last year’s opening stage, with a relatively straight out-and-back ride. Given the lack of big mountain finishes, it could play an even bigger role in deciding the overall classification, alongside the final 10.1km effort in San Benedetto del Tronto.
Though the course is relatively simple on paper, it has caused some issues for some in the past. Mark Cavendish crashed heavily on this stage last year after hitting a pothole, while disaster struck for Team Sky the previous season when they suffered a series of dramatic mechanical failures.
AG2R La Mondiale will kick proceedings off at 2pm local time, with Dimension Data following on five minutes later.
BMC Racing won the team time trial in last year’s race, but their successors, CCC Team, who will be fourth to start at 14:15CET, are less likely to be on the top step come the end of the day. Still, they do bring a strong line-up with former winner Greg Van Avermaet leading the way and should set a decent benchmark.
Former team time trial world champions Deceuninck-QuickStep (14:40) will be the first of the major contenders for victory to set off, midway through the running order. They have some power in their ranks with Yves Lampaert set to ride. They could face a lengthy wait to see how they fare with Jumbo-Visma the next big threat to start over half an hour later. Jumbo-Visma were strong at the UAE Tour and bring many of the same riders to Tirreno-Adriatico.
With Geraint Thomas and Jonathan Castroviejo in their line-up, Team Sky will be one to look out for as they start at 15:20. The wait to see who wins should go right up to the end with Tom Dumoulin and his Sunweb team the penultimate squad to roll out at 15:45, while Mitchelton-Scott will be the last.
|1||AG2R La Mondiale||14:00:00|
|5||EF Education First||14:20:00|
|7||Astana Pro Team||14:30:00|
|10||Cofidis, Solutions Credits||14:45:00|
|12||UAE Team Emirates||14:55:00|
|14||Neri Sottoli Selle Italia KTM NSK||15:05:00|
|21||Israel Cycling Academy||15:40:00|
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