Little more needs to be said about Colombian climbing sensation Nairo Quintana, who announced himself on the WorldTour stage with a stunning 2013 campaign and has continued where he left off already this time out with victory at the Tour de San Luis. The world number one team were immensely proud of toppling Team Sky last year, and success at Tirreno-Adriatico will see them rack up some early points this time out.
Andrey Amador, eighth last year, and Jonathan Castroviejo, 14th, are among Quintana’s supporting cast, alongside Tour of Beijing winner Benat Intxausti. The course appears perfectly suited to Quintana, with his explosive, attacking style sure to come to the fore over the weekend – particularly in the absence of Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali. Quintana is set to lead Movistar at the Giro d’Italia, making this an early dress rehearsal as to how he might fare in May. His stunning form last season mark him quite rightly as a big favourite.