The opening team time trial of the Tirreno-Adriatico saw the two heavy weights, Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Orica-GreenEdge battle it out with the Belgian World Tour team managing to get the better of the Aussie outfit. Team Movistar rounded out the podium in third.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung came home with a time of 21’32”, giving them an average speed of over 51km/h. While this may sound impressive it was only good enough for 21st place on the day, highlighting the level of competition at a World Tour race.
“It is a bit disappointing to come 21st in the TTT but we are part of one of the biggest races worldwide, with all the big names here. We are still the underdogs in the bunch and without Linus Gerdemann, who is out with sickness, it is really tough,” said DS Jens Zemke.
“We just need to fight hard to get a good result and we must stay positive. Just focusing carefully on the race, stage by stage is what we will do. After winning a stage at the Ruta Del Sol, the team knows how it feels to win. That will be the motivation going into the next stages, we have won big races before and we are ready to win more,” added Zemke.
Racing continues tomorrow with the first road stage starting in San Vincenzo and finishing 166km later in Cascina. The profile suggests a bunch sprint is on the cards and there is certainly enough interest from a number of teams in having the stage be decided in a sprint. All the Tour de France green jersey contenders are present at this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and exciting finish is be expected, with Gerald Ciolek from Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung likely to be in the mix.
Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) – (March 12-18/WT)
Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI)
Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Sports Director), Manel Lacambra (Sports Director), Dr Jarrad van Zuydam (Doctor), Dr Rob Child (Doctor-Nutritionist), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Paolo Baldi (Soigneur) Jim Bryan (Mechanic), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Andreas Beck-Watt (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)