Race organiser RCS Sport has unveiled the route of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico, including an opening team time trial for the very first time. The seven-day race begins on Wednesday March 9 in Marina di Carrara with a 16.8km team time trial and ends on Tuesday March 15 with an individual 9.3km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.
“We’ve never had a team time trial before and it’s an extra spectacular stage,” race director Mauro Vegni told Gazzetta dello Sport. “The idea is to make more of a selection compared to recent editions, when the race was decided by a few seconds.”
After the opening TTT, the race of the two seas heads south and east across Tuscany for a finish in Arezzo on stage two and then in Perugia on stage three. Both stages seem likely to suit the sprinters.
Stages four and five are much hillier and longer. Stage four is from Narni to Chieti and ends with several short, steep climbs. Stage five is 240km long between Chieti and Castelraimondo. It includes the 1455m high Sasso Tetto climb before more climbing near the finish. Stage six is a shorter and easier affair between Ussita and Macerata before the final 9.3km individual time trial stage around San Benedetto del Tronto.
160 riders from 20 leading teams will line-up for the race, including world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), Tom Boonen (Quick Step), 2010 Milan-Sanremo winner Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek), Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale), Cadel Evans (BMC), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and 2010 winner Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone).