The season's seventh World Tour event will take place between 7 and 13 March.
A new edition of the "Race of the Two Seas" is about to start and as in the past years, it will be bookended by stages against the clock, with Lido di Camaiore kicking off the party on Wednesday, when the riders will line out for a 21.5km-long team time trial, and San Benedetto del Tronto drawing the curtain over the 53rd edition with the traditional 10kilometer individual time trial, held over a flat and fast course. In between, the sprinters will have two chances, with two other stages suited to puncheurs and one (Sarnano Sassoletto, 12.3km at a 6.7% average gradient) to climbers.
Since 2003, Quick-Step Floors have conquered no less than twelve stages at Tirreno-Adriatico, in addition to winning the trophy once and taking five secondary classifications, and our team – who comes into the race as leader of the World Tour classification – will aim for more glory at the Italian event.
A stage winner at the past two editions, Fernando Gaviria will make his third straight appearance at the "Race of the Two Seas", where the young Colombian will be joined by two other former stage victors, Zdenek Stybar and Philippe Gilbert, the latter lining out here for the first time in four years.
Bob Jungels, who rode to third at the Drôme Classic, will be the team's designated leader for the general classification, whose top 3 he cracked in 2016; the Quick-Step Floors roster for the seven-day race will be rounded out by Belgian powerhouse Iljo Keisse, Gaviria's lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze and Niki Terpstra, victor a few days ago in a savage edition of Le Samyn.
"I think it's one of the strongest GC line-ups in years, and adding to that the cold temperatures and rain forecasted for this week, we should be in for quite a race, a very difficult one to predict, but to which we are looking forward. Best young rider of the past two editions, Bob comes at the start with GC goals and we will support him as much as possible, while also creating and taking chances in other stages with the likes of Fernando, Philippe, Zdenek or Niki, who impressed last week in Le Samyn. The entire squad comes here in good shape and motivated, so we look ahead with confidence to this challenge", said sports director Rik van Slycke, who will lead the team from behind the wheel, together with Davide Bramati.
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