The Strade Bianche is over but we’re not leaving Italy yet.
The 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico gets underway March 8th and spans seven stages. It features a team time trial, an individual time trial, two sprint stages, and three mountain stages. As usual, there’s something for everyone.
So who are the main contenders for the General Classification? Here are the top picks.
Odds to win the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico:
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team): 2/1
Quintana is the outright favorite for this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico. No one expects him to shine during the time trials, but he’ll be looking to make up for lost time in the high mountains. He’s already won the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana this season and taking Tirreno-Adriatico will be a great morale boost before he attempts the grand tours.
Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb): 9/1
Tom Dumoulin will be looking to win the stage race during the time trials, and hold on during the mountain stages. He recently finished fifth at the Strade Bianche and third at the Abu Dhabi Tour, which is a fairly good start to the season.
If he can hold Quintana’s wheel in the mountains, he’ll have a great chance at the title this year.
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team): 12/1
Nibali is the last Italian to win Tirreno–Adriatico, and he’s once again the country’s best hope in 2017. After back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013, Nibali has been fairly mediocre at the event. His former team, Team Astana, were notoriously bad at time trialing. So perhaps Bahrain Merida will give him the boost he needs.
Tejay Van Garderen (Team BMC): 12/1
Tejay Van Garderen will be starting with the wind in his sails after the team trial. BMC is stacked to the gills with elite time trialists and will almost definitely start the second stage ahead of the other General Classification contenders.
The rest will be up to Van Garderen and it will be interesting to see whether he can hold the lead. The American usually finds himself among the pre-race favorites, but has fallen short each time.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky): 15/1
Geraint Thomas will be contesting the Tirreno-Adriatico alongside fellow GC contender Mikel Landa. But Sky will not be sending their strongest team in support of them, making it tough for the duo. Thomas won Paris-Nice last year but has opted for the Italian stage race for 2017. He remains a dark horse among the GC contenders.
Photo credit: nuestrociclismo.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.