Joey Rosskopf joins CCC Team’s Classics team at the race, which will act as the final preparation before the team returns to Belgium.
Sports Director Valerio Piva said the first goal of the race will be the team time trial on stage one.
“The parcours of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico is a little bit different to the last years. It’s not a really mountainous race with uphill finishes, it’s more of a traditional Tirreno-Adriatico with a lot of up and down undulating terrain. There is one really hard stage with a final circuit and short climb, so I think Greg Van Avermaet can finish with a good result on this parcours. However, the main objective is to try and win a stage and finish the preparation for the Classics.
“A good result on stage one can make a difference on the General Classification, because there is a big chance to take time in the team time trial. Then, we will take things day by day and try to win a stage with Greg. We don’t really need to protect Greg every day, so the other riders will all have a chance to take an opportunity and race aggressively.”
Van Avermaet, who won Tirreno-Adriatico in 2016, is looking to fine-tune his form ahead of the spring Classics season.
“I always enjoy racing at Tirreno-Adriatico. I have some really nice memories there with my overall win and stage wins over the years so I would like to add to the tally in the CCC Team jersey. The team time trial on stage one will be the first one for most of us this year and given we have won the last three times, it is always an important stage for the team so I hope we can start the week with a good result. From there, I think I have a chance in a few of the stages so we will see how the race goes.
“A stage race like Tirreno-Adriatico is the best way to get some solid racing kilometers in the legs so if I can finish the race with good sensations then I will head to the rest of the Classics with a lot of confidence.”
Tirreno-Adriatico (13-19 March)
Rider roster: Joey Rosskopf (USA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA)