Tirreno Adriatico Stage 1 Preview
During the week there will be 5 stages where gaps can appear, with no real stage to recover time it is essential to do well in every one of them. The opening day will already be a vital one. The Lido di Camaiore opening TTT is already a classic so there won't be any surprises in the route, it's a very straightforward one where pure power is the essential.
There may be some big gaps in here so every rider that goes up the hills really well must make sure there are some powerhouses in the squad, it's a very fast parcours but it's also 21.5Km so there is plenty of road to settle differences.
Route is 50/50 north/south so any wind changes won't make a difference, and with a sunny sky it doesn't seem like any team will have an advantage.
Who can we expect to see?
With plenty of team with a very strong time-trialing squad there are plenty of sides we can choose from. With BMC, the team who has won in the last 3 years disbanded from last year we have no team we can clearly assume as the big favourite.
So there are 3 teams we initially assume as the best ones to watch:
Sky - Poels, Thomas, Moscon, Puccio, Ganna, Castroviejo, Stannard.
Sunweb - Dumoulin, Oomen, Power, SK.Andersen, Roche, Haga, Arndt.
Jumbo-Visma - Roglic, T.Martin, van Emden, de Plus, Bouwman, Martens, Gesink.
Jumbo-Visma may be the underdog in these 3 but with a similar squad they clearly won the UAE opening TTT, with engines like Roglic, Martin and van Emden there is plenty of quality firepower.
Sky and Sunweb though seem to lift a notch up even more, Sky has an insane quality in the squad where Puccio may be the weakest link whilst at the same time being a strong one, former TTT world champions Sunweb also have a TT-specialized squad in here, where only Roche and Power may be the ones that may struggle a bit more to contribute to the final time.
Two big candidates for the day are Deceuninck and Mitchelton. Deceuninck although not featuring the strongest of teams they count on the strong presence of rouleurs who will later target to bring Viviani into the sprint stages. Mitchelton on the other hand have a stronger squad but Adam Yates' presence may be a weak spot as he may be protected by his teammates, and if he helps he won't have similar speed to what the others can do with the same effort.
CCC will always be a favourable outsider as they have the experience of quality TTTing in their coach Marco Pinotti, and Bahrain-Merida another contender for the Top 5 as they feature powerful riders as Dennis, Tratnik and Sieberg, who add a big help to Nibali and Caruso's presence.
⭐ Deceuninck-Quickstep, CCC Team, Bahrain-Merida
We predict a Team Sky victory on the opening day. Although maybe not the best team in terms of TTT logistics, their squad is very strong, and with riders like Castroviejo and Ganna that will likely sacrifice themselves they have a bigger shot to get those seconds that will decide the day, putting Poels, Thomas and Moscon in the leading spot for the GC race.
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