Tirreno-Adriatico will start with a big name missing from the roster, that of Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour champion and Tirreno favourite. Froome has pulled out due to back problems and will be replaced by Richie Porte in the Sky line up.
The reigning Paris-Nice champion will now not defend the title he won so impressively last year. He is the stand in for Froome and will be team Sky’s main GC hope in Italy.
The Tasmanian improves with each passing year and Sky are clearly the team able to bring out the best in a rider previously criticized for being overweight.
While the Giro is Porte’s stated goal for the season, his form in the Tour Down Under was enough to suggest that he is ready and willing to add another race to his palmares.
Alberto Contador (image)
A stage win in the Volta ao Algarve, his first victory in a year, as well as 2nd place overall. Is El Pistolero back in business?
Contador races to win, always has, so expect him to come out all guns blazing in Tirreno in a bid to unsettle the man that took his place as grand tour kingpin.
Last year’s Tour would’ve hurt the man from Pinto and this year, in his head at least, will be about payback. Can he still dance away from his rivals like he used to?
Quintana is no longer the great unknown. An overall win in Basque Country showcased his ability and then he confirmed his arrival on the big stage in style with 2nd in the Tour de France, including a stage win along with the white and polka-dot jerseys. Not bad for his first try in La Grande Boucle!
As a youngster, there are naturally doubts about consistency but a stage and the overall win in the Tour de San Luis suggest Quintana is not planning on waiting around long for more success.
A place he could suffer is the time trial, but given Tirreno’s ITT is a short one, an in-form Quintana could have the race already sewn up before that last stage.
We’re still awaiting the time when we can fully write off Evans as a GC favourite. The tough Australian just keeps coming back for more and a stage win and second overall at the Tour Down Under as well as second in the national championships show he’s still a force to be reckoned with. He also won here in 2011 and knows the race well.
Evans has a lot of strings to his bow and the ability to grind out big results against younger, more natural climbers is perhaps the most impressive.
Write the old Aussie off at your pearl….
Bradley Wiggins would have teamed up with Chris Froome at Tirreno-Adriatico in what was to be a strong Sky line-up despite the obvious tension between the two. That’s not going to happen and Porte and Wiggins are now the two men to watch. Given the race is book-ended by time trials, the first a team effort and the last an ITT, Wiggins has the ability to gain some seconds here on key rivals, and in the ITT, that includes his team mate Porte.
If there is no breaking the group of favourites on the climbs, an unlikely scenario, it is possible that Wiggins could find himself in with a chance for the overall.
Uran has left the Sky setup that was dominated by Wiggins and Froome and is now the main GC threat at Omega Pharma-Quick Step. 2nd in the Olympic road race, 2nd in the Giro and 3rd in the recent Tour of Oman, Uran has been threatening a big win for a while. Could the breakthrough arrive in this year’s ‘Race of the two seas’?
Other riders to watch out for in the overall GC
Teammate of Uran and recent winner of the Volta ao Algarve, beating Contador. And March 8 winner of the Strade Bianche, beating Sagan.
Bauke Mollema and Robert Gesink
Strong Dutch partnership for Belkin- both will be aiming high on GC.
Daniel Martin and Andrew Talansky
Last year’s Liege winner and runner-up at Paris-Nice, the Garmin duo will be looking to nab a stage win and both could finish in the top 10.
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Cycling Calendar 2020
Tour Down Under 2020: The Route
Tour Down Under 2020: Favourites
Tour Down Under 2020 Route stage 1: Tanunda – Tanunda
Tour Down Under 2020 Route stage 2: Woodside – Stirling
Tour Down Under 2020 Route stage 3: Unley – Paracombe
Tour Down Under 2020 Route stage 4: Norwood – Murray Bridge
Tour Down Under 2020 Route stage 5: Glenelg – Victor Harbor
Tour Down Under 2020 Route stage 6: McLaren Vale – Willunga Hill
Tour Down Under: Winners and records
Tour Down Under 2020: Riders
Vuelta 2020: The Route
Vuelta 2020: Riders
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 1: TTT in Utrecht
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 2: 's Hertogenbosch - Utrecht
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 3: Breda - Breda
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 4: Irún - Santuario de Arrate
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 5: Pamplona - Lekunberri
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 6: Lodosa - Laguna Negra
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 7: Soria - Ejea de los Caballeros
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 8: Huesca - Sabiñánigo
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 9: Biescas - Tourmalet
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 10: Vitoria Gasteiz - Valdegovia
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 11: Logroño - Moncalvillo
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 12: Castrillo del Val - Aguilar de Campoo
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 13: Castro Urdiales – Suances
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 14: Villaviciosa – La Farrapona
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 15: Pola Laviana - Angliru
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 16: Muros - Mirador de Ézaro
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 17: Lugo - Orense
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 18: Mos - Porto
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 19: Viseu - Ciudad Rodrigo
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 20: Sequero - La Covatilla
Vuelta 2020 Route stage 21: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela - Madrid
Summer Olympics 2020 Tokyo: Route road race - men
Summer Olympics 2020 Tokyo: Route road race – women
Summer Olympics 2020 Tokyo: Route ITT - men
Summer Olympics 2020 Tokyo: Route ITT - women
Tour Colombia 2020: The Route
Tirreno-Adriatico 2020: The Route
Tour de France 2020: The Route
Tour de France 2020: Riders
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 1: Nice - Nice
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 2: Nice - Nice
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 3: Nice - Sisteron
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 4: Sisteron - Orcières-Merlette
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 5: Gap - Privas
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 6: Le Teil - Mont Aigoual
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 7: Millau - Lavaur
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 8: Cazères - Loudenville
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 9: Pau - Laruns
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 10: Île d'Oléron - Île de Ré
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 11: Châtelaillon-Plage - Poitiers
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 12: Chauvigny - Sarran Corrèze
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 13: Châtel-Guyon - Puy Mary
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 14: Clermont-Ferrand - Lyon
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 15: Lyon - Grand Colombier
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 16: La Tour-du-Pin - Villard-de-Lans
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 17: Grenoble - Col de la Loze
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 18: Méribel - La Roche-sur-Foron
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 19: Bourg-en-Bresse - Champagnole
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 20: Lure - La Planche des Belles Filles
Tour de France 2020 Route stage 21: Mantes-la-Jolie - Paris
Giro 2020: The Route
Giro 2020 Route stage 1: Budapest ITT
Giro 2020 Route stage 2: Budapest - Györ
Giro 2020 Route stage 3: Székesfehérvár - Nagykanizsa
Giro 2020 Route stage 4: Monreale - Agrigento
Giro 2020 Route stage 5: Enna - Etna
Giro 2020 Route stage 6: Catania - Villafranca Tirrena
Giro 2020 Route stage 7: Mileto - Camigliatello Silano
Giro 2020 Route stage 8: Castrovillari - Brindisi
Giro 2020 Route stage 9: Giovinazzo - Vieste
Giro 2020 Route stage 10: San Salvo - Tortoreto Lido
Giro 2020 Route stage 11: Porto Sant'Elpidio - Rimini
Giro 2020 Route stage 12: Cesenatico - Cesenatico
Giro 2020 Route stage 13: Cervia - Monselice
Giro 2020 Route stage 14: Conegliano - Valdobbiadene
Giro 2020 Route stage 15: Rivolto – Piancavallo
Giro 2020 Route stage 16: Udine - San Daniele del Friuli
Giro 2020 Route stage 17: Bassano del Grappa – Madonna di Campiglio
Giro 2020 Route stage 18: Pinzolo – Laghi di Cancano
Giro 2020 Route stage 19: Morbegno - Asti
Giro 2020 Route stage 20: Alba – Sestriere
Giro 2020 Route stage 21: Cernusco di Naviglio – Milan
Vuelta 2019: Riders
Tour Down Under 2014 Route stage 1: Nuriootpa - Angaston
Tour Down Under 2014 Route stage 2: Prospect - Stirling
Tour Down Under 2014 Route stage 3: Norwood – Campbelltown
World Cycling Championships 2013: Route individual time trial - men