Hunter and Cummings Lead Team Barloworld at 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico
Team Barloworld will ride in the prestigious Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy this week with the objective of winning individual stages and doing well in the overall rankings with team leaders Robbert Hunter and Steve Cummings.
Tirreno-Adriatico is known as the "Race of the two seas" as it crosses Italy from the Tuscan coast to the Adriatic coast.
Barloworld Team Manager Claudio Corti has selected eight on-form riders for the seven days of racing.
South Africa's Robert Hunter will lead the team in the sprints. He will have Diego Caccia, Paolo Longo Borghini, Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Patrick Calcagni and Marco Corti to give him a lead out train and hopefully launch him to victory in the sprints. Hunter has already won a stage at this year's Tour of the Mediterranean and recently won a stage and finished second in another at the Giro del Capo in South Africa.
Hunter has several chances of additional success at Tirreno-Adriatico, including the opening stage over 147 km between Cecina and Capannori on Wednesday and Friday's 166 km third stage from Fucecchio to Santa Croce sull'Arno.
In addition Team Barloworld hopes that Steve Cummings can finish strongly in the 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico overall rankings. The powerful British rider has impressed with some early season form and, according to the team itself, excels when the racing is hard.
Team Manager Claudio Corti has a lot of faith in Cummings, especially after his recent classy win at the Giro del Capo, in South Africa. He has improved a lot on the climbs and is also a good time trialist, meaning he can aim to do well overall in Tirreno-Adriatico. Cummings will have support from Gianpaolo Cheula, who always plays a key role for the team in stage races.
The fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico is a 30 km individual time trial from Loreto to Macerata and Team Barloworld will again target success with Cummings and fellow British specialist Geraint Thomas.
Even without Mauricio Soler, who is carefully preparing for other races in accordance with directions from the team management, directeur sportifs Alberto Volpi and Valerio Tebaldi will still have a strong line-up of eight riders for the 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico. The aim is to fight for success in every moment of the race and prove to the world that the team deserved its invitation to the race from organiser RCS Sport.
2009 Tirreno-Adriatico stages
March 11 – 1st stage: Cecina-Capannori 147 km
March 12 – 2nd stage: Volterra-Marina di Carrara 177 km
March 13 – 3rd stage: Fucecchio-S. Croce sull’Arno 166 km
March 14 – 4th stage: Foligno-Montelupone 171 km
March 15 – 5th stage: Loreto-Macerata 30 km ITT
March 16 – 6th stage: Civitanova Marche-Cemerino 235 km
March 17 – 7th stage: S. Banedetto-S. Banedetto 169 km