Usually, the descision in the Tirreno-Adriatico is made in the only real mountain stage in the route, while the hilly stages and time trials account for marginal gains. In this edition the Queen Stage travels to Monte Terminillo, where Nairo Quintana powered to victory in 2015, which ultimately led to him winning the overall that year. So in theory the Colombian is not only the man to beat at the mega-long climb, he is top-favourite for the overall win. Furthermore, the season may still be young, but Quintana is in good shape which he showcased with a devastating performance in the Queen Stage of the La Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana. The next day he took the overall.
Two others riders with a 2017 victory under their belts are Rui Costa and Bauke Mollema. The Dutchman took the Vuelta a San Juan in January, while he finished in second on the Terminillo in 2015. Moreover, he looked strong in the Abu Dhabi Tour, a race that was won by Rui Costa amidst a strong field. Ilnur Zakarin (who races Paris-Nice) finished in second and Tom Dumoulin in third. As the Tirreno features two time trials the Dutch chrono-specialist should be a force to be reckoned with. Dumoulin was strong in the Strade Biache, too.
Rui Costa and Thibaut Pinot are in good shape. As said, the Portuguese did win the Abu Dhabi Tour in an extremely strong field, while the Frenchman rode excellent in the Strade Bianche and in February he climbed to victory in the Queen Stage of the Ruta del Sol. In the GC he ended up 6 seconds down on winner Valverde.
The 2017 Tirreno boasts an impressive field. One could argue the race is a prequel to the centennial Giro d’Italia in May. Besides Quintana and Mollema, the following riders go head to head in both races: Aru, Nibali, Landa, Pinot, Costa, Van Garderen, Dennis, Majka and Dumoulin.
Quite a few riders who are still in the peloton did win the Race of the Two Seas: Davide Rebbelin (2001), Michele Scarponi (2009), Vincenzo Nibali (2012, 2013), Alberto Contador (2014), Nairo Quintana (2015), and Greg Van Avermaet (2016). Van Avermaet is not your average Tirreno-Adriatio winner, but he seized the opportunity when the Queen Stage in last year’s edition was cancelled due to snow.
*** Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Thibaut Pinot, Tom Dumoulin
** Rui Costa, Mikel Landa, Bauke Mollema, Fabio Aru
* Rigoberto Uran, Rafal Majka, Leopold König, Tejay van Garderen
Tirreno-Adriatico 2017: Route maps, Height profiles and more
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Final kilometres 5th stage
Final kilometres 6th stage
Route and profile 4th stage
Start and finish at Google Maps