Tirreno-Adriatico route unveiled with a lot of climbs and two time trials
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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Tirreno-Adriatico route unveiled with a lot of climbs and two time trials

by Ben Atkins at 1:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tirreno-Adriatico
 
Race of the two seas expects to attract the sport’s biggest names to fight for the trident trophy

cadel evansThe route of the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico was unveiled at the Teatro Verdi, in the Tuscan coastal town of San Vincenzo today. The seven stage “Race of the Two Seas” will start on the Tyrrhenian Sea, in San Vincenzo, on March 7th, with a 16.9km team time trial, before crossing the Italian boot to the Adriatic, where it will finish with an 8.9km individual test in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Present at the ceremony was 2009 race winner Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), who took the points jersey in last year’s edition.

“When I won in 2009 there wasn’t the trident; I really like it; I want to win it!” he joked, referring to the distinctive “King Neptune” trophy that was awarded to 2010 and 2011 winners Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing, pictured). “The Tirreno-Adriatico is an important race, it is perhaps even harder this year than in the past and so I like it even more.

“It will be the first important event of the season for me and for my team,” he added. “Moreover, with [Alberto] Contador (Saxo Bank) and Evans at the start, it will not be easy to win but surely we will enjoy the race.”

Following the opening team time trial, the race will return to San Vincenzo for the first road stage to Indicatore, to the west of Arezzo; although it will feature the steep climbs to the Tuscan hilltop towns of Volterra and Castellini in Chianti, the two laps of a 33.5km finishing circuit should ensure that this is one for the sprinters.

The fast men should have their day again on stage three, which takes a southeasterly course to Terni, with the only real difficulty being the double-digit climb to Todi at about two-thirds distance. The following day, with 3,400 of climbing in 252km between Amelia and Chieti, will be a different matter however, as it heads almost straight towards the east coast.

Stage five will be hillier still, as the race heads away from the Adriatic seafront, and into the hills of Abruzzo for a summit finish at Prati di Tivo. The sixth stage however, promises to be the least predictable of the entire race; with a zigzag profile throughout its entire length, the Offida stage will begin with an 84km loop and then six laps of the circuit that was used in the 2010 junior World championships.

The race will have its usual finish in the Adriatic city of San Benedetto del Tronto, with a similar 9.3km time trial to the one that ended the 2011 race, and saw Evans slightly increase his race-winning margin over Robert Gesink and Scarponi.

As part of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, the eighteen first division ProTeams are all automatically invited, along with four Professional Continental teams in Acqua & Sapone, Colombia-Coldeportes, Colnago-CSF Inox, and Farnese Vini-Selle Italia.

The race expects a high-quality field, with Evans expected to return, as well as Scarponi, Contador, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Garzelli expected to vie for the pale blue jersey and trident trophy; the latter will doubtless have an extra point to prove, with his Acqua & Sapone team denied an invitation to the Giro d’Italia.

Also expected are World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky), Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), Swiss champion Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Nissan Trek), Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and talented young Italian riders Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Enrico Battaglin (Colnago-CSF Inox).

Also present at the unveiling was Alfredo Martini, the honorary president of the Itlalian Cycling Federation (FCI).

“The Tirreno - Adriatico is certainly one of the most beautiful races in the world and still shines despite the years that have passed since its birth, and despite the intense competition that brought the "globalization" of cycling,” he said. “It remains a fascinating race that is really aimed at by all riders for both victory in the race itself and to be well prepared for Milano-Sanremo.”

Stages (March 7th - 13th):
Stage 1: San Vincenzo to Donoratico (Team time trial) 16.9km
Stage 2: San Vincenzo to Indicatore (Arezzo) 230km
Stage 3: Indicatore (Arezzo) to Terni 178km
Stage 4: Amelia to Chieti 252km
Stage 5: Martinsicuro to Prato di Tivo 196km
Stage 6: Offida to Offida 181km
Stage 7: San Benedetto del Tronto (Individual time trial) 9.3km

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