AG2R La Mondiale unveils line-ups for Strade Bianche and Tirreno Adriatico
Mar 01 2018 09:18 pm CET

AG2R La Mondiale unveils line-ups for Strade Bianche and Tirreno Adriatico

Tour de France podium finisher Romain Bardet will make an appearance in both Strade Bianche and Tirreno Adriatico, his team AG2R La Mondiale confirmed.

The French WorldTour formation announced the line-ups for the two races in one go, with Bardet, Swiss Silvan Dillier and Italian Matteo Montaguti featuring in both.

For Bardet, this will be his first ever appearance at the Tirreno, after having taken part in Paris-Nice in the last five years. The Frenchman will face uniquely heavy opposition in the Italian race, with most big stage race rider opting to appear there rather than in France.

One of Bardet's teammates will be the experienced Montaguti, who has just started his eighth season with AG2R.

"I am coming off a period of good preparation, with the Tour Down Under in Australia, a training camp in the Canaries (Spain), and then the Abu Dhabi Tour," the 34-year-old said.

"I’ve been racing and riding in sunny hot conditions for nearly two months now, which makes the snow and cold that prevails in Italy not really to my liking at the moment. Nevertheless, I am in good shape, and will tackle the two very difficult races with a lot of motivation. And I am very happy to race again with Romain Bardet, which does not happen very often.

"I just hope that the weather will improve a bit because cycling in two degrees is never very pleasant. I know the Strade Bianche well and I will be there to 'pilot' Romain and Silvan Dillier. It has always been a race for warriors, and will be even more so this year if the weather isn’t any better. In fact some sectors may have to be cut out. We will just have to adapt."

Montaguti will have a mixed role in the Tirreno as he will support his teammates but he may also get the occasional opportunity to ride for himself.

"We also have a very good team for Tirreno-Adriatico. Since we won’t be going with any sprinters, I will try, if the racing situation allows, to play my personal card in the 3rd, 5th and 6th stages, and I will of course be working for the team.

"Tirreno is a good race, very hard and with a lot of variety since we cross Italy. Landscapes and routes change in a week. Every year there is a beautiful selection. It is an event where the best riders come to win and to really race. This is not a preparatory race for anyone. And personally, I am just very happy to be able to be racing in my country."

The full line-up for Strade Bianche (March 3):

Clement Venturini
Quentin Jauregui
Silvan Dillier
Romain Bardet
Pierre Latour
Hubert Dupont
Matteo Montaguti

The full line-up for Tirreno-Adriatico (March 7-13):

Mathias Frank
Julien Duval
Silvan Dillier
Romain Bardet
Alexandre Geniez
Alexis Gougeard
Matteo Montaguti
Image: AG2R La Mondiale logo




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