Organizers today announced the route of the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico, which takes place March 9-15. The weeklong Italian stage race is a primer for the first monument of the season, Milan-San Remo. With Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans expected at the start, the 16.8km team time trial will also open the year’s first good look at the Tour de France contenders’ form.
The Tyrrhenic coastal town of Marina di Carrara will host the stage 1 TTT and was the site of the route presentation by RCS Sport. Before riders reach the final-stage, 9.3km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, they’ll face a mix of days designed for the sprinters and climbers.
Stages 2 and 3 feature mild terrain and should see bunch finishes before the road tilts up for two 240km days, from Narni to Chieti and from Chieti to Castelraimondo. Three punishing climbs of the Madonna del Monte carry riders to a mountaintop finish in stage 6 near Macerata on the penultimate day.
The finale will bring riders to the Adriatic coast road in San Benedetto del Tronto for a short time trial. The time differences atop the GC are likely to be settled ahead of the TT, where the powerful classics riders will have an opportunity to blow their legs out ahead of La Primavera four days later.
RCS Sport operations director Mauro Vegni hoped to challenge the sprinters, time trialists and climbers in the 2011 edition of the race of the two seas.
“We tried to design a very varied Tirreno-Adriatico to give to leave space for any type of racer,” he said.
Among the riders joining Schleck and Evans will be defending overall champ Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone), world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo) and 2010 Milan-San Remo winner Oscar Freire (Rabobank).
Stage 1: Marina di Carrara TTT
Stage 2: Carrara-Indicatore-Arezzo
Stage 3: Terranuova Bracciolini-Perugia
Stage 4: Narni-Chieti
Stage 5: Chieti-Castelraimondo
Stage 6: Ussita-Macerata
Stage 7: San Benedetto del Tronto ITT
Overall winners since 2000
2010: Stefano Garzelli
2009: Michele Scarponi
2008: Fabian Cancellara
2007: Andreas Klöden
2006: Thomas Dekker
2005: Oscar Freire
2004: Paolo Bettini
2003: Filippo Pozzato
2002: Erik Dekker
2001: Davide Rebellin
2000: Abraham Olano