Underneath was written before the start of the 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico.
Fabian Cancellara, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi are the only riders at the start list who did have have the satisfaction of winning the Race of the Two Seas. Spartacus was best in 2008, Scarponi in 2009, while the Shark of Messina raised the trident in glory after back to back wins in in 2012 and 2013.
Both the time trials and stage 5 promise to be decisive as far as the overall goes. Last year, Nairo Quintana took control in the only mountain stage and he could freewheel to victory in the closing individual time trial.
Overall contenders with strong ITT talents at the start are Alejandro Valverde, Rigoberto Uran and Tejay van Garderen. The American is backed up by a strong BMC squad, World Champions time trialing, so his recipe for success could be: win the TTT, keep an eye on the best climbers in stage 5, and then ad a finishing touch in the ITT on the last day.
Wout Poels, Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde are the only contenders who did win a multiple stage race in 2016. Poels won the Vuelta a Valencia, Nibali the Tour of Oman, while Valverde was the victor in the Ruta del Sol.
Favourites Tirreno-Adriatico 2016:
*** Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde, Tejay van Garderen, Bauke Mollema
** Thibaut Pinot, Rigoberto Uran, Wout Poels, Domenico Pozzovivo
* Joaquim Rodriguez, Johan Esteban Chaves, Rafael Valls, Daniel Martin
Tirreno Adriatico 2016: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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