The 12th Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi will officially open the Italian season when it is raced on February 10. The organisers expect a star-studded field for the race, a 193 kilometre affair from San Vincenzo to Donoratico (Livorno). The parcours is a flat affair that favours the sprinters, as witnessed in its honour role; names like Alessandro Petacchi and retired Mario Cipollini.
Petacchi will return this year, facing a strong field of riders. Some of the big names lining up in San Vincenzo will include Daniele Bennati, Fabio Baldato (Lampre-Fondital) Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas), Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Tom Steels (Predictor-Lotto) and Paride Grillo (Panaria).
According to tuttobiciweb.com, in the coming days, organisers are hoping for the confirmation of Paolo Bettini. In fact, the course passes the childhood home of the World Champion and his fan club headquarters in La California.