Tirreno-Adriatico – known as the ‘Race of the Two Seas’ – kicks off on Wednesday, March 13, and provides a seven-man UAE Team Emirates squad with seven days of racing through some of Italy’s most beautiful and challenging terrain.
The week-long route weaves its way from the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west coast of the country to the Adriatic on the east and offers a mix of climbs, bunch sprints and time trials.
Waiting in the wings to take on the mini Giro d’Italia is an international mix of talent captained by the experienced Portuguese stage racer Rui Costa, Swiss time trial specialist Tom Bohli and Columbian sprinter Fernando Gaviria, who tasted success in 2016 and 2017 with stage wins in both editions. The Italian trio of Simone Consonni, Valerio Conti and Oliviero Troia finish off the squad along with Slovenian General Classification rider, Jan Polanc.
Gaviria said: “It’s a beautiful race where I’ve been able to celebrate twice. The team is designed for the stage wins, and I’ll try to be competitive in the sprints.
“As well as fighting for the stage wins we want to do well in the overall classification too. It’s a great team and everyone has good legs so we are confident. The race design has changed somewhat from past years, so it’ll be interesting to see how this influences the race.”
The race begins with a 21.5km Team Time Trial (TTT) along the promenade of Lido di Camaiore – the traditional start town of Tirreno-Adriatico. This is followed by Stage 2, which travels 195km from Camaiore to Pomerance with a series of rolling climbs along the way. Stage 3 is a long 226km ride across central Italy that is designed to feature a sprint finish in Foligno.
The 4th stage is another long day in the saddle with 221km of riding between Foligno and Fossombrone. The route is laden with steep climbs on narrow country roads and the final 20km features a double ascent of the Muro dei Cappuccini before a 5.6km downhill run to the line. Stage 5 is another lumpy ride for the peloton – a 178km route from Colli al Metauro to Recanati – which ends with a circuit around the arrival town.
The 3.6km climb to the line tops out at 19 per cent and has to be tackled no less than four times. The penultimate stage provides a final chance for the fast men to show their strength in another bunch sprint finish after a 195km ride from Matelica to Jesi.
The race ends on day seven with the traditional fast and flat 10km ITT in San Benedetto del Tronto.
The team will be guided by four sports directors including Joxean Fernandez Matxin, Marco Marzano, Allan Peiper and Bruno Vicino.
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