Quick-Step Floors Team to Tirreno-Adriatico
A strong and experienced squad, which includes three former stage winners, will head to the start of the Italian race.
Tirreno-Adriatico will once again be bookended by stages against the clock, with a team time trial opening the proceedings and an individual one drawing the curtain over the 52nd edition. "The Race of the Two Seas", which saw Quick-Step Floors take one overall win, five auxiliary classifications and 12 stage victories since the team's inception in 2003, will cross central Italy from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic Sea for a total of 1012.8 kilometers across seven stages.
Besides Lido di Camaiore and San Benedetto del Tronto, two regular features on the route, Tirreno-Adriatico will visit Pomarance (where Zdenek Stybar won in 2016 with a superb solo attack), Montalto di Castro (the town which witnessed Fernando Gaviria's first World Tour victory), Monte Terminillo – the race's sole mountain top finish, averaging 7.4% over 16 kilometers – Fermo and Civitanova Marche, where the puncheurs, respectively the sprinters will look to take the spoils.
Both Gaviria and Stybar will return at the start of the the Italian World Tour race, together with Tom Boonen (a stage winner at the 2010 edition), Bob Jungels – best young rider in 2016 – Iljo Keisse, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote, making Quick-Step Floors one of the teams to watch during the week-long race.
"We have a strong squad, and Bob, who finished third at last year's edition, will once again be our GC guy. Fernando will have his chances in the sprint stages, but unfortunately he won't count on Richeze, who's out for ten days after crashing in Strade Bianche", said sport director Davide Bramati. "Tom is coming off the back of a difficult week, during which he couldn't train properly due to gastroenteritis, so for him it will be important to add kilometers under the belt and return on the right track for the Northern Classics."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele