Tirreno-Adriatico rolls off the starting blocks on Wednesday with a 21.5km team time trial in Lido di Camaiore, and some of the top riders gathered on Tuesday to talk about their own ambitions in the seven-day WorldTour race that finishes on March 19 with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.
The favourites for the overall, including Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and recent Strade Bianche winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), gathered on Tuesday to speak with the media and give the race a proper set-up. Defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is currently battling the crosswinds at Paris-Nice, leaving the race open for a brand-new winner or a potential third victory for Nibali.
The race lacks any true mountains this year, eschewing summit finishes in favour of a number of short, steep Classics-like climbs that will measure gradients in double digits.
Stage 1 will set the general classification pecking order, and in a race that could be won by seconds, the team time trial could be decisive. Stages 3 and 6 should keep the sprinters happy, while stages 4 and 5 are littered with leg-busting bergs – or muri – and will likely decide the race. The race wraps up with a 10.1km individual time trial.