ISRAEL START-UP NATION IS LOOKING TO SPRINTS AND TIME TRIAL FOR SUCCESS
Once one gets used to the idea of Tirreno-Adriatico being held in September simultaneously with the Tour de France – no, wait, we can’t get used to that. But it is so. And so Israel Start-Up Nation is ready for the eight-day race in Italy.
With a strong squad to cover all possibilities, “we are very much looking forward to this race and we will do our best to get some good results,” says Sport Director Nicki Sorensen.
Despite the early fall timing, Tirreno-Adriatico will still fulfill its unofficial function of being a prep race for the Giro d’Italia, which starts only two weeks later.
Guy Sagiv has already been named to our Giro squad, and this will give him an excellent chance to stretch his legs and get used to Italian racing again.
A mixed course calls for a mixed team, and Sorensen has come up with a good mixture of sprinters, climbers, time trialists and helpers.
“The primary goal is stage results, especially in the sprint stages where we will have a strong leadout team to support Davide as our sprinter. Dani will be our man for the hilly and mountain stages and his main goal will be to try for and achieve a good result in the GC.”
“We also have two of our best time trial riders in this race, Alex and Matthias and we hope to get some good ranking in that final individual time trial stage.” And, by the way, Alex and Matthias are not just good time trialists, the are both former World Hour record champions.
“The route will have some less demanding stages in the beginning and again near the end. The middle part has some very hard stages with both steep and long climbs and some long stages,” according to Sorensen.
Tirreno-Adriatico this year is the usual mixed bag: flat, rolling, mountains. Things open with 133km starting and ending in Lido di Camaiore, three laps of a circuit with a small climb followed by two laps of a very flat course. Stage 2 is flatter, but with one real climb along the way and a short but steep climb roughly 20km before the finish.
“Undulating” is how the race organizers describes the third stage, which includes two climbs of the Poggio Murella, with gradients of up to 20%. The real climbing starts the next day, with three ranked climbs, and stage 5 has three more, including the first mountain top finish at Sarnano – Sassotetto.
Things calm down at stage 6, which features a very bumpy first half, followed by a very flat second half.
We ease into Stage 7 with a long and gradual descent, but later the peloton might be forgiven if they think they have hit a Belgian Classic: they take off for three laps of a circuit course filled with short, sharp climbs.
At last we have crossed the country and have arrived at our final destination: a pancake flat 10km ITT, right along the waterside.