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“Unfortunately the captain for the Tirreno race, Linus Gerdemann will not ride because of sickness, but with Gerald Ciolek and Kristian Sbaragli we have some fast boys for the sprints. Sergio Pardilla will be our man for a good GC res...

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ANDREAS STAUFF

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DANIEL TEKLEHAIMANOT

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GERALD CIOLEK

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IGNATAS KONOVALOVAS

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JACOBUS JOHANNES VENTER

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JAY ROBERT THOMSON

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NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM

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SERGIO PARDILLA

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TIRRENO - ADRIATICO

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12.03.2014 @ 12:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

MTN-Qhubeka are ready for their first WorldTour race of the season when they line up in the Tirreno-Adriatico later today. In the absence of Linus Gerdemann, the team will be led by Sergio Pardilla and Gerald Ciolek.

 

Today will see the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race get underway with a 17km team time trial. The prestigious Italian stage race will be the first World Tour calendar race for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung this year. In a race which a number of the world’s best riders target as an early season goal, the competition will be fierce. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are relishing the opportunity to race alongside the strongest teams in the world and will be sending a team of riders well equipped to challenge for a result.

 

Linus Gerdemann was originally supposed to lead the team at the Tirreno-Adriatico but illness has side-lined the German tour rider. Gerald Ciolek and Sergio Pardilla will now jointly captain the African Pro Continental team over the 7 days of racing. The other riders that will compliment Ciolek and Pardilla are Kristian Sbaragli, Ignatas Konovalovas, Andreas Stauff, Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter and Daniel Teklehaimanot.

 

“Unfortunately the captain for the Tirreno race, Linus Gerdemann will not ride because of sickness, but with Gerald Ciolek and Kristian Sbaragli we have some fast boys for the sprints. Sergio Pardilla will be our man for a good GC result,” said DS Jens Zemke when quizzed on the team’s options for the race.

 

After a strong showing of form at the Roma Maxima, Pardilla is particularly motivated ahead of the week’s racing. “I think I will have some good form here at Tirreno, obviously we take the race day by day but certainly we will fight for a good result. The competition will be very high with many top riders but still our goals are for a stage win and good GC result,” said the Spanish climber.

 

The Tirreno-Adriatico route is very well balanced and will suite the typical stage racer. A team time trial, an individual time trial, 3 sprint stages and 2 climbers stages including a mountaintop finish on stage 4 all make up what should be a fascinating race course. The route along with the prestige of the race obviously, has attracted a stellar field to this year’s edition of the race.

 

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) will be some of the favourites for the general classification. In the sprint department, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) and Andre Greipel will certainly make for the most thrilling bunch sprints that have been seen so far this year.

 

Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) – (March 12-18/WT)

Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI)
Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)

 

You can read our preview of the race here and of the first stage here.

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