[Underneath article was written before the start of the Tirreno-Adriatico and has not been updated]
The 2019 route of the Tirreno-Adriatico is full of short, sharp climbs, but features no high altitude finish. So the race is tweaked to Classics type of riders instead of traditional grand tour contenders. More or less like the 2016 edition of the race, which was won by Greg Van Avermaet with a 1 second lead over Peter Sagan. No climbers on the podium that year as the Queen Stage was cancelled due to snow.
Usually, the Queen Stage at the Tirreno-Adriatico is decisive for the overall victory, while riders earn beer money in the time trials and hilly stages with punchy arrivals. This time it will not be beer money though, but decisive cash. Time trialling skills will come in handy too for those who are eyeing the overall victory in this year’s Race of the Two Seas.
Finisseurs with the support of a strong team time trial squad will strike a first blow in the flat TTT on day one, while an individual effort against the clock takes place on the last day. Other crucial races in terms of GC are played out the fourth day – a kind of Liège-Bastogne-Liège – and the fifth day, which ends with an uphill finish. The climb to the line in Recanati kicks up at 18%.
Former winners at the start are Vincenzo Nibali (2012, 2013) and Greg Van Avermaet (2016), while Peter Sagan kicks off his European season at the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico. Title holder Michal Kwiatkowski is racing Paris-Nice.
Favourites 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico
***** Geraint Thomas, Julian Alaphilippe, Primoz Roglic
**** Adam Yates, Tim Wellens, Wout Poels, Tom Dumoulin
*** Alexey Lutsenko, Rohan Dennis, Peter Sagan, Jakob Fuglsang
** Vincenzo Nibali, Tiesj Benoot, Greg Van Avermaet
* Gianni Moscon, Thibaut Pinot, Sam Oomen, Anthony Roux