Preview: Tirreno-Adriatico

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The Tirreno-Adriatico will once again be MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s first World Tour appointment of the season when racing gets underway this Wednesday, 11 March. The event will run over 7 stages, concluding next Tuesday with a 10km ITT.

The race will also play host to possibly the strongest startlist we will see in world cycling this year, bar the Tour de France. Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali are the main GC contenders lining-up while Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan will be the top sprint contenders.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will send a powerhouse roster of riders to Tirreno-Adriatico to compete against the worlds best, with stage wins being the main focus. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Kristian Sbaragli, Tyler Farrar, Gerald Ciolek, Matt Goss and Steve Cummings give our team multiple options for the race with each one of them capable of winning one of the 5 road stages.

Louis Meintjes will be our man for the stage 5 summit finish though. As Louis continues his development as a GC rider, it will be a good gauge for him to go up against the world leading GC climbers. The two time trials will be a good test for our African team and a solid start is a goal. Steve Cummings and Edvald Boasson Hagen both hope to go well in the individual test against the clock.

African supporters will be able to watch MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the Tirreno-Adriatico live on SuperSport. To see the broadcast schedule you can visit the SuperSport website: www.supersport.com

Louis Meintjes – Rider

I am pretty nervous but at the same time happy to do my first World Tour race of the year. It is nice to be racing here in Italy, especially because the race is starting to so close to where I live. The Tirreno-Adriatico must also be one of the races with the best quality start lists I have ever started in so it will be a great challenge.

Jens Zemke – Head of Performance

It is a pleasure to return to our first World Tour race and we bring 2 former winners of the Milan Sanremo to the event this year. We are no longer underdogs anymore and we will be in the rumble for stage wins. The team time trial is close to our base in Lucca and our riders love the Italian lifestyle and passion for cycling so they will be motivated. The long winter period with all the preparation races has to come to an end now and we are ready to compete against the best riders.

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