8 14 March, 2.WT, Italy

Procycling - - Prologue -

If Paris-Nice has the most com­pelling nar­ra­tive, The Ital­ian race runs it close and it has a bet­ter tro­phy – who wouldn't want a mas­sive tri­dent? Tir­reno-Adri­atico also jock­eys with Paris-Nice to o!fer the best prep for Mi­lan-San Remo. It has edged ahead on this front in re­cent years with La Clas­si­cis­sima winners gen­er­ally com­ing from here. Or­gan­is­ers RCS Sport have played to this ten­dency by di­alling up the stage length to mimic San Remo and there are three stages over 200km this year. The race fol­lows a fa­mil­iar for­mat, with a 22km TTT in Lido di Ca­maiore and a 10.1km in­di­vid­ual test book­end­ing the race in San Benedetto del Tronto. In be­tween, there’s a brace of nailed-on sprints, a couple of stages for break­away spe­cial­ists and a GC charge up Monte Ter­minillo, where Nairo Quin­tana mem­o­rably won solo in a bliz­zard in 2015. The climb is 16km long with an av­er­age gra­di­ent of 7.3 per cent and will go a long way to set­ting the over­all classi!ica­tion's !inal look. The race also pays its re­spects to the ar­eas and peo­ple hit by earth­quakes in Au­gust and Oc­to­ber last year on stage 5 be­tween Ri­eti and Fermo.

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