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Tirreno-Adriatico: Sagan, Nibali and Cavendish headline star-studded start list

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) are among a long list of big-name riders announced for next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico. Race organisers RCS Sport have published a full entry list for the week-long stage race, which will begin on Wednesday March 9 with a team time trial in Lido di Camaiore on the Tuscan coast.

Nibali will be one of two former champions on the start line, with Trek-Segafredo’s Fabian Cancellara also set to compete as he gears up for his final Classics campaign. Nibali comes into it after taking overall victory at the Tour of Oman. The Italian has twice taken overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, in 2012 and 2013 and is perhaps the favourite for tis year's race. 

Last year’s winner Nairo Quintana won’t be in attendance and his place will be taken by Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde, who is preparing for a ride at the Giro d’Italia. There are plenty of other strong contenders for the overall classification including Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge). Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski and Wout Poels are also possible winners but Mikal Landa will not be in action after only recently returning to training. 

World Champion Sagan and sprinter Cavendish, who is also riding this week's Track World Championships, will lead the way in the hunt for stage wins as many of the fastest sprinters in the world prepare for Milan-San Remo. Also hot off the track World Championships, Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) will be looking to continue his strong start to the season. Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge), Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) will also be aiming to find success in one of the race’s five point to point stages.

Tirreno-Adriatico will begin, as usual, with a team time trial and an individual time trial will come later in the race on the final day. Cancellara will certainly be key on the first stage and one of the favourites to take individual victory on stage 7. The Swiss will face some tough competition with reigning world champion Vasil Kiryienka in Team Sky’s line-up. Tony Martin finished second to Cancellara at the Volta ao Algarve and will be looking to reverse his fortunes.

Tirreno-Adriatico will begin on March 9 and end in San Benedetto del Tronto on March 15. 

Cyclingnews will have complete daily coverage, with live updates, photo galleries and exclusive news from each stage. 

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