Organizers hope team time trial draws top teams to April’s Giro del Trentino

The four-day race starts with a race against the clock on April 22

MILAN (AFP) — Giro del Trentino organizers said they are hoping for an opening day battle between cycling’s team time trial giants Sky and BMC Racing when a “pancake-flat” race in the event opens this year’s edition in late April.

The four-day race, held April 22-25, is considered one of several crucial warm-ups for the three-week Giro d’Italia (May 9-June 1).

The remainder of the 38th edition has yet to be revealed due to delays caused by regional government elections, although organizers said they hoped to finalize the route in the coming days.

“We could not move forward without consulting the new administration first,” said race president Giacomo Santini. “But we are pressing forward to make sure we finalise things in a few days.”

For the third year in succession, the race will begin with a flat team time trial and according to organizers “looks just like the 14.3km team time trial from Riva del Garda to Arco in 2012 won by BMC,” who were led over the finish line by American Taylor Phinney.

It was the first time a TTT had been included in the race, and the formula was repeated in 2013 when Bradley Wiggins led Sky over the finish line in Lienz, Austria to claim the opening day’s stage win.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won the 2013 edition of the race, before going on to claim his maiden Giro d’Italia crown.

The Italian is expected to line up at this year’s Giro, although his priority will be the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

That could pave the way for Australian Richie Porte (Sky) to stake a claim for his maiden grand tour triumph at the Giro, which begins in Belfast, Northern Ireland.