"This is my seventh season in the UCI World Tour and there are only two stage races I haven't done: Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Suisse. I'm very happy to discover a new event, it's a change. I have always liked racing in Italy. The roads are tough and it suits my profile of rider.
As for every race, the objective will be to perform well and to play with the best. March is an important month for me and for the team. It's the first part of a three-part season.
I can't wait to get back with the guys after five weeks without racing and hang up a bib again!"
A special cycling suit for the Strade Bianche
The AG2R CITROËN team, supported by its technical partner Rosti, will start the 17th edition of the Strade Bianche with the new "Denim" bib shorts entirely customized for the team.
Rosti and the AG2R CITROËN team developed the shorts in close collaboration with riders during the winter break. It will be worn exclusively this Saturday thanks to the authorization of the UCI.
The shorts are made of stretch denim fabric. This is an innovation from Rosti for cycling clothing. It offers freedom of movement and comfort for riders. The fabric is made using a patented yarn technology.
Greg Van Avermaet won the general classification at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2016.
He also raised his arms twice on stages (one in 2015 and one in 2016).
He will be competing in Tirreno-Adriatico for the twelfth time.
Felix Gall and Ben O'Connor, meanwhile, are racing the "Race of the Two Seas" for the first time.