Evans and Horner looking for test at Tirreno-Adriatico

Horner returns to racing after Tour de France crash, blood clot

Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and Chris Horner will return to the peloton Wednesday for their first stage racing tests of the season at Tirreno-Adriatico. Evans (BMC Racing) will open his title defense at the “Race of the Two Seas” with a 16.9km team time trial in San Vincenzo on the Tuscan coast.

“My first goal is to see how my fitness is,” Evans said in a release. “I’ve worked reasonably well toward it. To repeat last year’s result here would be an ultimate gauge of my fitness. But we’ll first test my fitness and then see the result.

Evans started his season at the Trofeo Palma in Mallorca, Spain, in February. The seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico is the pre-classics preparation of choice for many riders aiming for Milan-San Remo and the northern classics and was the Australian’s first victory in his Tour de France-winning season.

Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) will make his first start in San Vincenzo since a frightening stage 7 crash at last year’s Tour de France and subsequent blood clot. The American was originally slotted for Paris-Nice, but will be in Italy to represent the team’s hopes in the general classification.

“Chris was going to race Paris-Nice, but we wanted to have someone at Tirreno-Adriatico to ride for the GC,” a team press officer told Velo. “This is Chris’s first race since his crash at the Tour last year, but he’s motivated to do well.”

BMC Racing for Tirreno-Adriatico
Alessandro Ballan
Cadel Evans
Philippe Gilbert
George Hincapie
Marco Pinotti
Manuel Quinziato
Michael Schär
Greg Van Avermaet
Directors: Fabio Baldato, John Lelangue

RadioShack-Nissan for Tirreno-Adriatico
Daniele Bennati
Fabian Cancellara
Tony Gallopin
Chris Horner
Giacomo Nizzolo
Yaroslav Popovych
Gregory Rast
Hayden Roulston
Directors: Dirk Demol, Luca Guercilena