Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 start list: Simon Yates, Tadej Pogačar and Nairo Quintana to battle for the title
Grand Tour hopefuls will be out in force at Tirreno-Adriatico (March 10-16), with defending champion Simon Yates down to take to the start line.
Other big names who are down to go against Yates (Team BikeExchange) in the battle for the overall are Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe)
The race does not have the usual team time trial on stage one, instead the start of the race has two sprint stages to suit the many top sprinters who are down to ride such as, Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
One rider who can fit into both slots as he has showed he has amazing ability at both the climbs and the sprints is Belgian star, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who is looking to go for GC in a stage race for the first time as he looks to potentiall lead a team to a Grand Tour one day.
Only a couple of days suit the pure sprinters in this years race but it hasn’t stopped then flock to it despite Paris-Nice having a few more days for the fast men.
Tirreno suits the punchers much more as most of the stages involve several hilly finishes with a couple of uphill finishes that will suit an explosive attack, perhaps from Van Aert or Alaphilippe.
The main stages for the riders in the fight for the blue jersey, though, come in the middle and end of the race with a huge mountain day and the usual individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, albeit with a few changes to the course.
Defending champion, Simon Yates is indeed down to try and defend his title after he looks to bounce back from that Covid-19 positive that saw him drop out of the Giro d’Italia last year.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 start list – provisional
AG2R La Mondiale-Citroën
VAN AVERMAET Greg
VAN HOUCKE Gijs
Intermarché-Wanty Gobert Matériaux
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
VAN LERBERGHE Bert
Israel Start-Up Nation
VAN AERT Wout
VAN HOOYDONCK Nathan