Nairo Quintana's pre-race press conference
Colombian from Movistar Team joins Due Mari's top stars at official presser before TTT opens fire in Lido di Camaiore on Wednesday
The Una Hotel in Lido di Camaiore held Tuesday’s pre-race events prior to the start of Tirreno-Adriatico, Wednesday, with a 22.5km team time trial in and around the city. Nairo Quintana was one of the race’s big stars invited to a packed press conference, where the Colombian from the Movistar Team expressed his feelings on a contest he’ll try to immerse in with all his strength, being his penultimate competition before the 100th Giro d’Italia in May.
“Tirreno is a race I’ve always liked”, explained to journalists at a scrum following the main conference. “Our preparations were planned so we could reach this race in good condition, to test the legs out and see if everything was going right at this point of the season, so we could assess it all and tackle that double challenge, Giro-Tour, in the best way possible.”
“You all could see at the starting list that some of our strongest rivals for the Giro will also be here, and with Tirreno being also an Italian event, you’ve got extra motivation to take on this race as a goal, do well and get used again to the country’s roads and atmosphere. We will see how we feel leading up to the Giro when this ends. How should the race be decided? Well, probably a big piece of the cake is at stake tomorrow in the TTT. We hope not to lose time there and hold tight until Saturday – since Terminillo should pretty much define the overall result.”
Paris-Nice: Sprinters’ duel before Mont Brouilly
Rain and wind eventually left room for respite to the contenders in the other WorldTour event of this week, the 75th Paris-Nice, whose third stage saw Irishman Sam Bennett (BOH) prevailing at a bunch sprint at the end of the 190km journey from Chablis to Chalon-sur-Saône. Gorka Izagirre, well supported by his Movistar team-mates, remains 11th overall, 33” behind Arnaud Démare (FDJ), before a more serious test on his GC chances comes on Wednesday with the mixed ITT (14.5km) towards the Mont Brouilly, a 3km climb at 7.7% average.
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