AIRace, everything’s ready in Mestre for the sprinters stage

After yesterday’s Teams Presentation, Adriatica Ionica Race’s second edition starts tonight (7 pm CET) with a criterium assigning the first leader’s jersey. Cavendish goes for the first seasonal win

Everything is ready in Mestre (Venice) for the second edition of Adriatica Ionica Race starting tonight, Wednesday July 24th, at 7 pm CET, with a sprinters stage, following yesterday’s Teams Presentation.

A spectacular criterium takes place tonight on a 2,7 Km-circuit to be repeated 30 times. 2011 World Champion Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) will look to achieve his first seasonal win, but a numerous field of sprinters, led by Colombian Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates), German Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Merida) and Italian Sacha Modolo (EF-Education First) and Kristian Sbaragli (Israel Cycling Academy), will look to factor in the bunch finish.

Overall contenders will look to stay covered, waiting for the dirt roads and mountains to come to the fore. Anyway, golden-boy Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck Quick Step) was the big story yesterday in Mestre. “I’m curious to see how my body reacts after the training camp in Livigno, but I am ready to give my best and see where it takes me. There is a very nice stage on Friday, I hope to finish with the top group at the Lago di Misurina to target a good position in the final GC”.

In addition, AIRace welcomes the last Paris-Roubaix winner, Philippe Gilbert, the main favourite of stage 2 in Grado, alongside fellow Belgian Sep Vanmarcke (EF-Education First). “I have done many races in my career – said Gilbert – and I’m happy to discover a new one. I think my shape is pretty good, I come offa long period of training. There are a few stages that suit me well, I hope to be there to compete for the win.”

During 5 days of competition, Vanmarcke will try to claim a personal result keeping an eye on the team goals. “It’s a very interesting race, that may hold surprises every day. ’m looking forward to start, I like the first stage in Mestre and also the second one with the gravel roads. For the GC we will try look support Joe Dombrowski”.

The highlights of Adriatica Ionica Race’ stage 1 will be aired on Eurosport, from 11.30 pm CET.