Tirreno-Adriatico (pre-race press conference)
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) stays cautious on approach to Tirreno-Adriatico, first European race of his 2015 season starting on Wednesday
A short 5.4km ITT, instead of the 22km TTT initially proposed, will take the curtain up to the 50th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico, where the Movistar Team will be led by Nairo Quintana. The Colombian superstar shared the stage of the 'top riders' press conference with Rigoberto Urán, Alberto Contador, Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan and Vincenzo Nibali, speaking afterwards about his expectations for the 7-day WorldTour event.
"I like Tirreno really much, I was second here in 2014, but this year I'm coming with a different goal, a bit more calm," explained the Cómbita-born rider. "It's my first race in Europe this season and the most important thing here will be getting closer to the level of my main Tour de France rivals and gain some racing form. I've been out of racing since my crash in the Colombian championships. That incident left me with many blows and bruises, especially one in my hip. We didn't think it was ideal to get in such form into the next race and that's we and the team chose together to wait a little bit so we could come here in decent shape.
"I think the strongest rider on course will be Alberto (Contador); he already showed in Andalucía he's in quite good form. When it comes to ourselves, we must go day-by-day – we've got a strong team, which will surely lead me out well into the climbs. The race will probably be decided on the Terminillo", says Nairo, whom it's "a pleasure to race in Italy, especially for its passionate fans. Seeing the friends in Italy enjoying so much with what I do keeps me committed to come here and race well in this country. Let's hope to bring great racing here and do good 'training' prior to the Tour."