Tirreno-Adriatico in memory of Ballerini
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tirreno-Adriatico in memory of Ballerini

by Bjorn Haake at 11:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

The organizers of the 2010 Tirreno-Adriatico have announced the route and also changed the color of the leader's jersey. It is now blue, in memory of the late coach of the Squadra Azzura, Franco Ballerini, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported. The race has no time trial, four flat and three mountain stages. The race starts March 10 in Livorno and finishes on March 16 in San Benedetto del Tronto, after 1,247 kilometers.

The Italian cycling world is still in shock following the car rally death of Franco Ballerini on February 7. Ballerini headed the Italian squad, which traditionally races in blue colors. Dedicating the race to him and changing the color of the leader's jersey was an honorable gesture to a man who was well-liked in cycling crazy Italy.  Ballerini was also well respected beyond the borders of his home country. During the route announcement, the vice president of the Italian sports paper announced that on February 22, a book called "Ciao Ballero" will be available in the stores.

The race will go through the provinces of Toscana, Umbria, Abruzzo and Marche. The course director, Mauro Vegni, explained the core of it. "We have not scheduled a time trial, but instead put the focus on two stages with a certain difficulty - Sangemini-Chieti with 243 kilometers and Chieti-Colmurano with 234 kilometers."

The most famous names in the race will be World Champion Cadel Evans, who looked strong in Australia, as well as the ex-World Champs Alessandro Ballan and Oscar Freire. There will also be Alexander Vinokourov, Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen, and Mark Cavendish. Several strong Italians will be extremely motivated at home: Alessandro Petacchi, Daniele Bennati, Filippo Pozzato, Vincenzo Nibali or Stefano Garzelli. Not to forget the defending champion, Michele Scarponi.

21 teams will participate in the race.

The stages:

Stage 1: March 10: Livorno-Rosignano Solvay, 148 km
Stage 2: March 11: Montecatini Terme-Montecatini Terme, 165 km
Stage 3: March 12: San Miniato-Monsummano Terme, 159 km
Stage 4: March 13: Sangemini-Chieti, 243 km
Stage 5: March 14: Chieti-Colmurano, 234 km
Stage 6: March 15: Montecosaro-Macerata, 134 km
Stage 7: March 16: Civitanova Marche-San Benedetto del Tronto, 164 km

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