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Archie Ryan in action in January at Tour Down Under and now the Irish rider is set for a trio of quick fire stage races over the next month (Photo: LCAT Productions)

Archie Ryan (EF Education-EasyPost) may have had a relatively light start to his first season at World Tour level but the pace is about to ramp up for the Irishman as he is scheduled to ride three European stage races in coming weeks.

That period of hectic action is set to start on Tuesday when he takes to the start line at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (2.1), which was won overall two years ago by Eddie Dunbar, then with Ineos Grenadiers.

The 22-year-old – who rode strongly to 13th in his last outing at Trofeo Laigueglia (1.Pro) – is part of a strong team for the week ahead in Italy; one that is capable of targeting both stage wins and the overall, especially given the absence of top names.

The stand-out opponents are, among others; Johannes Staune-Mittet (Team Visma-Lease a Bike), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Alec Segaert (Lotto Dstny). The strongest opposition for Ryan – as was the case when Dunbar won – may come from his own team, in the shape of Jefferson Alexander Cepeda.

Ryan should get at least one clear shot of a stage win on the second day of action to Sogliano al Rubicone, when the racing concludes at the top of the 3.3km climb – averaging 6.2 per cent – of Sogliano al Rubicone, on what will be the fifth passage of the climb.

The final of stage 4 – some 150.7km to Brisighella – may also be an opportunity for the Irish rider, though the finale is a lumpy one rather than featuring a climb to the finish.

The stage on Saturday – 157.9km starting and finishing in Forlì – is set to unfold on a tough circuit that is up and down for the full stage and should break up the field, though again the finish is not on a climb.

Once Ryan is done with the five stages of racing this week, he is then pencilled in for the Itzulia Basque Country (2.UWT), from April 1st to 6th, with the Tour of the Alps to follow, from April 15th to 19th.

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