Antonio Tiberi carries Italian hopes at the Tour of the Alps

Antonio Tiberi carries Italian hopes at the Tour of the Alps

Bahrain-Victorious’ 22-year-old has a shot to show off in Italy and Austria to earn the leader’s status for the Giro d’Italia, and bring the overall victory back to Italy for the first time since Nibali at the 2013 Giro del Trentino

As open and uncertain as it can be, the Tour of the Alps is usually right when it comes to assessing a rider’s condition: those capable of showing off in the Tirol-Südtirol/Alto Adige-Trentino Euroregion have what it takes to nurture ambitions. Team Bahrain-Victorious knows this very well: from 2018, the Bahrain-based squad has bagged at least a stage or a final podium spot in each edition of the Tour of the Alps.

From April 15 to 19, Bahrain-Victorious will try to extend this stretch and possibly aim even higher, trying to catch the overall win that has proved elusive so far. Sharing the leader’s duties will be Dutchman Wout Poels, making the switch for the first time from the Ardennes to the Alps, and Antonio Tiberi, one of the Italian hopes for stage races.

In the early part of 2024, Tiberi showed a solid condition at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya: good news for the Italian fans, hoping that the 22-year-old can eventually turn into the stage race and grand tour threat Italy has been missing since Nibali’s retirement. Indeed, more than 10 years have passed since the Italian flag has waved on the GS Alto Garda race: it was back in 2013 that Vincenzo Nibali himself claimed the then Giro del Trentino on his way to his first Giro d’Italia victory.

“The Tour of the Alps is a demanding race”, analyzed Tiberi. – “I will reach Neumarkt/Egna after an altitude training camp. It will be my key rehearsal ahead of the Giro d’Italia, and I feel my condition is getting better: I will try to make a solid run for the GC.”

The history of the Tour of the Alps reinforces the ambitions of Tiberi: in the last years, the euro-regional stage race staged the breakout of several top cycling prospects.

The level at the Tour of the Alps is very high, and short stage races are ideal for youngsters to test themselves and take more responsibilities. I think this is part of the reason why several prospects have thrived in this race”, said Tiberi.

Both at the Tour of the Alps and the Giro d’Italia, the Italian will share the leading duties with a veteran like Wout Poels. “We’re both in good shape: the road will determine who makes the run for the GC”.

“With Antonio we are working well together”, said Poels. – “I was with him at the Vuelta last year and we were in some races together this year, like Tirreno and Catalunya. It's always good to race a little bit more together to know each other better”.

“I think Tour of the Alps is a really good preparation for the Giro d’Italia. I always did the Ardennes Classics but I think it will be a better preparation ahead of the Giro for me this year and I'd like to ride more days in a row to get ready for a Grand Tour. I always like to do five-day stage race and in this case, it's also nice to try a new race”.

In his long career, Poels won two short stage races, the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in 2016, and the Vuelta Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol in 2022: now, he has every chance to do well also at the Tour of the Alps.

“I want to do a good race and maybe try for a stage win or a good GC. I quite like to race in Austria, it’s a super nice country, in the middle of the mountains. I’m expecting the Italian stages in Trentino and Südtirol/Alto Adige will be similar”, concluded Poels.

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