5 issues to look out for at Tirreno-Adriatico 2021




Stephen Puddicombe




Spherical two of Pogačar v Ineos Grenadiers

Tadej Pogacar and Tom Pidcock on the 2021 Strade Bianche (Picture by Luc Claessen/Getty Photographs)

Whether or not or not the collective energy of Ineos Grenadiers is ample to defeat the precise individual brilliance of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Group Emirates) is shaping as much as be even handed certainly one of basically essentially the most thrilling dynamics of 2021.

Pogačar got here out on excessive at opening leg of the WorldTour on the UAE closing month, the save apart he purchased the simpler of Ineos’ Adam Yates by 35 seconds to select the overall classification, nevertheless that bolt uncovered weaknesses in his crew, who left him isolated left to fend for himself early on in each the mountain excessive finishes.

Ineos Grenadiers had been unable to capitalise on their superiority that point, nevertheless elevate what appears to be like to be like fancy an dependable stronger line-up to Tirreno-Adriatico, that comprises joint-leaders Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal — that means all the closing three Tour de France winners will seemingly be present.

There are question marks about Thomas’ accomplish, nevertheless Bernal appears to be like to be like assist to his final and unbothered by the assist ache that plagued him proper by closing season, and grow to be as soon as a shock podium finisher at Strade Bianche — the save apart Pogačar grow to be as soon as among the many riders he purchased the simpler of.

UAE Group Emirates, in incompatibility, will line-up with almost concerning the equivalent squad, with the totally commerce being Ivo Oliveira altering Mikkel Bjerg. The likes of Rafał Majka and Davide Formolo will due to this fact need to up their video games in the event that they’re to once more Pogačar fend off the chance posed by Ineos Grenadiers.

Defending champion Simon Yates leads a bunch of different GC challengers

Simon Yates on his answer to complete victory in Tirreno-Adriatico 2020 (Picture by Justin Setterfield/Getty Photographs)

Faraway from being a simple showdown between Pogačar and Ineos Grenadiers, this 12 months’s Tirreno-Adriatico is teeming with talent able to profitable the overall.

>>> Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 inaugurate checklist: Simon Yates, Tadej Pogačar and Geraint Thomas to battle for the title

Having obtained the overall of closing 12 months’s rearranged bolt (which took save apart in September after Covid compelled it out of its customary springtime slot), Simon Yates will return to guard his title barely than accomplish his customary look at Paris-High quality, and may probably merely tranquil hope to get what has been a lacklustre inaugurate to his season for his crew.

Vincenzo Nibali (Sail-Segafredo) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) are moreover previous winners of this bolt, nevertheless will combat to repeat that success up in opposition to youthful riders fancy Sergio Higuita (EF Coaching-Nippo) — although Quintana has been quietly utilizing himself assist into accomplish following the knee damage that ended his 2020 season.

Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Romain Bardet (DSM) are different riders who will seemingly be eyeing up stage 4’s mountain excessive invent at Prati di Tivo (14.2km at 7.2 per cent), nevertheless it must also merely be the 11km remaining stage time trial that someway decides the bolt — by which case Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep), if he can limit his losses on that climb, will seemingly be a severe contender upon his return to the nation the save apart he loved a lot success ultimately 12 months’s Giro.

Wout van Aert threatens to move for GC

Wout van Aert on the 2021 Strade Bianche (Picture by Tim de Waele/Getty Photographs)

Everybody is aware of him as a result of the one that may attain each factor, and now Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) may even merely be about to intention so as to add complete victory at a WorldTour stage bolt to his already extraordinarily numerous palmarès.

On the reside of closing season, the Belgian talked about his need to intention to select recent types of races, and talked about Tirreno-Adriatico as a stage bolt he may probably purpose to select complete.

>>> Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 route: Phases for the 56th mannequin of the ‘Bustle of the Two Seas’

He may even by no means accumulate ridden for GC sooner than, nevertheless it’s simple to concentrate on about what Van Aert may even concentrate on he can truly choose. Phases two and three reside with mild uphills that may even merely tranquil be effectively inside his fluctuate, the hilly fifth stage has the extra or a lot much less punchy parcours he excels at, and the ultimate time trial may even merely tranquil see him accomplish time over barely a lot each individual (apart, for stream from Ineos Grenadiers’ Filippo Ganna, the time trial supremo who may probably be the overwhelming favorite for that stage).

The massive question will seemingly be whether or not or not he can dwell on the two mountainous peaks on stage 4. Ultimate 12 months’s Tour de France printed what a edifying climber he is, nevertheless he may even merely not accumulate but reached the height situation he needs to climb fancy that when extra, and the ending mountain is subtle ample to very expeditiously reverse any useful properties he may even accomplish within the reverse phases. It’ll be a giant allege, nevertheless don’t write off an individual of Van Aert’s talent from pulling it off.

Classics stars convene between one-day targets

Mathieu van der Poel wins Strade Bianche 2021 (Picture by Tim de Waele/Getty Photographs)

Fairly a great deal of the riders who starred in Saturday’s thrilling Strade Bianche will as soon as extra attain battle for the size of Tirreno-Adriatico, with phases two, three and 5 all providing alternatives for wins.

Genuinely, all three of the star trio Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Julian Alaphpilippe (Deceuninck-Speedy-Step) will seemingly be present, and are as soon as extra seemingly to entertain us all by animating the bolt on the rolling terrain that characterises these phases.

Like Van Aert, Alaphilippe may even moreover be in a save apart to allege for GC, if he has the equivalent climbing legs that helped him to second complete on the Tour de la Provence closing month. As any particular person not well-known for his climbing on mountains, Van der Poel isn’t any longer anticipated to fade for GC — nevertheless, alternatively, the Dutchman continues to realize the surprising, so probably we shouldn’t write him off totally.

Their predominant allege will, nonetheless, be finalising preparations for the upcoming monuments, starting with Milan-San Remo.

Tirreno-Adriatico will moreover be the predominant bolt for Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) this season. It wasn’t goodbye before now that the Slovak grow to be as soon as basically the most-talked-about rider of almost about each bolt he’d line-up in, nevertheless the recent star turns of the aforementioned trio has seen him given a lot much less of a headline slot than he’s light to. He’ll be alive to to remind each individual of what he can attain this week in Italy.

Sprinters accomplish remaining preparations for Milan-San Remo

Caleb Ewan on the 2021 UAE Tour (Picture by Tim de Waele/Getty Photographs)

Attend in its frail early-March slot having taken save apart in September closing 12 months, Tirreno-Adriatico will as soon as extra attribute as an important heat-up bolt for the upcoming Milan-San Remo.

Although Milan-San Remo has not been decided by a whisk since 2016, there are tranquil tons of of sprinters who will use this week of racing within the hope of ultimate-tuning each their sprinting and climbing legs to be in final kind for La Primavera.

Chief amongst them is Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Speedy-Step), who in a subject of weeks has lengthy gone from being a little-known sprinter to even handed one of the favourites for Milan-San Remo. The draw during which he obtained a Tour de la Provence stage on a day the save apart the overall different sprinters had been dropped suggests he may be a contender on the hillier days at Tirreno-Adriatico as well to the flat phases one and 6.

His Italian compatriot Elia Viviani (Cofidis) ultimately appears to be like to be coming into some accomplish, and may probably merely tranquil be alive to to finish his 17-month drought with a victory on home roads. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Group Emirates), in incompatibility, tranquil appears to be like to be like some draw off his final accomplish, nevertheless will seemingly be hoping to fade into it this week as he eyes up Milan-San Remo.

All of them face a giant allege in getting the simpler of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), nonetheless. The Australian already has a WorldTour choose to his establish this season earned on the UAE Tour, and, within the absence of Sam Bennett (whose utilizing Paris-High quality), may probably be the individual to beat.

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