Mark Cavendish will compete at Tirreno-Adriatico this week despite picking up an illness in South Africa, Etixx-Quick-Step have confirmed, and will also be joined by Mark Renshaw, who suffered from the same virus as the British sprinter.
The pair picked up the stomach bug after visiting South Africa last weekend for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, but will line-up at the start of the week-long race in an Etixx team built for taking both stage wins and a shot at the GC.
Sport director Davide Bramati admitted it had been difficult for both Cavendish and Renshaw, but they would assess the situation day-by-day.
“We go into this race with a good team, even if we know we have complications with Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw who are still dealing with a stomach virus they both suffered with in South Africa this past weekend,” Bramati said in a press statement.
“This virus has weakened them and will affect their performances at least at the beginning of this race. But they will be at the start and we will see day-by-day about their individual situations.”
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Colombian climber Rigoberto Uran is also confirmed for Tirreno, as he builds form towards another attempt at the Giro d’Italia in May, having finished second last year.
Uran will come up against the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and compatriot Nairo Quintana at the race, but will not have to deal with another GC contender in Chris Froome, who dropped out of the race after illness.
With the team time trial on stage one being altered to an individual time trial due to poor weather conditions, the race parcours looks to suit the 28-year-old Uran, who has significantly improved his time trialing over recent years to compliment his climbing ability.
“For the GC, we can count on Rigoberto Uran,” said Bramati, “individual time trials are something he loves, even if the distance is not so long.
“It is no secret he is also a good climber. So we will race for him in the overall. He’s surrounded by a good team that already showed its potential at the last races. The team is motivated after the victories and are ready to do their part in this race.”
Etixx – Quick-Step team for Tirreno-Adriatico 2015:
Rigoberto Uran Uran