The second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico starts on 7th March, Thursday from San Vincenzo, the stage town of the team-time-trial, from the west coast and heads inland to the east all the way to Indicatore. It is a pretty long stage with 232 km to go, but still nothing more than a bunch sprint should be expected. It will be the first clash of the season between Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel of Lotto Bellisol and considering they are both in form, it’ll be pretty hard for the other sprinters in the field to catch the two.
There are two categorized climbs early in the stage, so expect one of the riders from the breakaway to wear the mountains classification jersey, which will be “green” at the end of the day.
Check out jersey colors in Tirreno-Adriatico.
Omega Pharma Quick-Step was the fastest team in the Tirreno-Adriatico opener and they put Mark Cavendish into the overall lead. They were down to 5 riders for the final kilometers, but thanks to German powerhouse Tony Martin, OPQ finished 11 seconds ahead of Movistar and 16″ away from BMC.
Amongst the pre-race favorites, Cadel Evans has now 4 seconds margin over last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali, 9″ over Chris Froome and 13″ over Alberto Contador. “The differences are important, we lost 16 seconds with BMC and also lost time to Astana and Sky, who are direct rivals, but we cannot think that this is definitive. It is true that these races are won or lost by a few seconds, but well, this is just beginning,” told Contador after the stage.
1. Omega Pharma-Quick Step 19′ 24″
2. Movistar Team 11″
3. BMC Racing Team 16″
3 teams are invited as wildcard entries besides the 19 pro tour teams; Vini Fantini-Selle Italia from Italy, Team NetApp-Endura from Germany and MTN Qhubeka from South Africa.
There will be quite some interesting competition from the likes of Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome and last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali for the blue jersey. Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara, Taylor Phinney are amongst the several names that can win a stage or two in here.