Froome to face Tour rivals in Italy

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Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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Chris Froome is scheduled for an early-season duel with his three main rivals for the 2015 Tour de France title – Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali – at the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race later this month.

Tinkoff-Saxo boss Oleg Tinkov had hoped the quartet would line-up in all three Grand Tours – of France, Italy and Spain.

That idea did not take off, but now Tinkov has his wish of seeing the four race each other before the Tour after organisers RCS Sport announced their participation in the Italy-based Tirreno-Adriatico race, which takes place from March 11 to 17.

The prospect of 2014 Tour de France winner Nibali competing is by no means certain, though, after the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, asked its licence commission to withdraw the licence of his Astana team.

If Nibali does take part it will be the first time the dominant four Grand Tour winners have all raced in the same WorldTour event, RCS Sport said.

Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) is the defending champion of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’ and has won all three Grand Tours, as has Nibali, who won the 2012 and 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico.

Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner, will lead a Team Sky squad which is also slated to include Elia Viviani.

The Italian will contest the sprints against Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) and Marcel Kittel (Team Giant-Alpecin), who has taken the Briton’s mantle as the world’s top sprinter in recent seasons.

Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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