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Startt gallery: Return to Tirreno-Adriatico

Late-winter racing heats up in the ‘Race Between Two Seas’

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For years I have covered Paris-Nice, but after 20 editions following the “Race to the Sun,” I was only too happy to have the opportunity to cover Tirreno-Adriatico – the “Race Between Two Seas.”

True to form, Tirreno started on the Adriatic coast, with a time trial in the beach town of Lido di Camaiore. I can only imagine this town in the summer months, packed with beach-goers. But on a Monday in March, I sensed a certain quiet nostalgia in the air, as if the town was simply waiting for the next summer to come. In some ways, the Tirreno time trial was a bit of an appetizer, as world champion Filippo Ganna once again showed off his rainbow stripes, while dominating the field and exciting the crowds.

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The following days rolled through the ever picturesque Tuscany with its quaint villages and iconic distinctive landscape. Given over to sprinters, there was a sort of pastoral calm to the racing, as everyone understood that the race for this year’s Tirreno title would really start on stage four to the hilltop town of Bellante.

And indeed, the stage did not disappoint as defending champion Tadej Pogačar bolted away in the final meters to take the stage and the overall lead. Indeed Pogačar appears primed to once again win, but Italian racing is known for being unpredictable and three tough stages are still to come.