The Tirreno-Adriatico is its own race, a Milan-San Remo lead-up and a stepping stone to the Tour de France. This week, March 6 to 12, July favourites like Chris Froome, San Remo men like Mark Cavendish and those just wanting to win the ‘Race of the Two Seas’ will tear across central Italy.

The seven stages, covering five regions and 1060.1 kilometres, offers something for everyone.

The race kicks off with a 16.9-kilometre team time trial in San Vincenzo. Last year, GreenEdge trained specifically and made an important mark in its debut season. The Aussies beat RadioShack with Fabian Cancellara, but revenge came. The world champion time triallist won the final day’s stage in San Benedetto del Tronto. This year, the race concludes again with a 9.2km individual test.

Vincenzo Nibali went head-to-head with Roman Kreuziger and Chris Horner in that individual TT to score an important overall victory before going on to place third at the Tour. The three moved into control in the previous mountain days.

The mountain finish to Prato di Tivo at 1450 metres is back. That day and the following stage to Chieti in the Apennine mountain range will allow the GC men to carve their names in the overall standings. The rest, like last year will be decided along the Adriatic coast.

There are not many sprint days on offer, and far less than the days when men like Oscar Freire and Giorgio Furlan won the race overall title. In fact, this year there is one and maybe two days that could suit Cavendish and co.

The second leg to Indicatore in Arezzo has ‘sprint’ written all over it; in fact Cavendish won here last year. The next day to Narni Scalo will also likely come down to a sprint. The rest of the days, Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) will just need to wait. They will put in the kilometres and bide their time for Milan-San Remo, this year a day later on Sunday. (The road to San Remo)

Peter Sagan, Strade Bianche winner Moreno Moser (both Cannondale) and some of the GC favourites with a kick will have a go in the penultimate stage to Porto Sant’Elpidio. Though the stage lacks big climbs, the roads here in Le Marche are insidious, going left and right and up and down like a drunkard.

Arriving on the coast in San Benedetto del Tronto on March 12, the cyclists will be exhausted, but will be thankful all the same. Often Tirreno-Adriatico’s French cousin, the Paris-Nice stage race, suffers from inclement weather, which spells disaster for those looking ahead to San Remo or Paris.

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013: Stages
Stage one, Wednesday March 6, San Vincenzo to Donoratico, 16.9km TTT
Stage two, Thursday March 7, San Vincenzo to Indicatore (Arezzo), 232km
Stage three, Friday March 8, Indicatore (Arezzo) to Narni Scalo, 190km
Stage four, Saturday March 9, Narni to Prati di Tivo, 173km
Stage five, Sunday March 10, Ortona to Chieti, 230km
Stage six, Monday March 11, Porto Sant-Elpidio to Porto Sant’Elpidio, 209km
Stage seven, Tuesday March 12, San Benedetto del Tronto, 9.2km ITT

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013: Teams
Ag2r-La Mondiale
Argos-Shimano
Astana
Blanco
BMC Racing Team
Cannondale
Euskaltel-Euskadi
FDJ
Garmin-Sharp
Katusha
Lampre-Merida
Lotto-Belisol
Movistar
MTN-Qhubeka
NetApp-Endura
Omega Pharma-QuickStep
Orica-GreenEdge
RadioShack-Leopard
Saxo-Tinkoff
Sky
Vacansoleil-DCM
Vini Fantini

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013: TV schedule
Digital and satellite channel British Eurosport will be broadcasting live coverage and highlights of 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico. Schedule may be subject to change. Check British Eurosport website or your EPG for further details.
Wednesday March 6, 13:30-15:30, Stage one LIVE, British Eurosport 2
Thursday March 7, 13:30-15:30, Stage two LIVE, British Eurosport 2
Friday March 8, 13:30-15:30, Stage three LIVE, British Eurosport 2
Saturday March 9, 16:00-18:00, Stage four highlights, British Eurosport 2
Sunday March 10, 16:00-18:00, Stage five highlights, British Eurosport 2
Monday March 11, 13:30-15:30, Stage six LIVE, British Eurosport
Tuesday March 12, 13:30-15:30, Stage seven LIVE, British Eurosport

Tirreno-Adriatico: Last year’s top five (2012)
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
2. Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan at 14 secs
3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 26 secs
4. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 53 secs
5. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 1-00

Tirreno-Adriatico: Recent winners
2012 Vincenzo Nibali
2011 Cadel Evans
2010 Stefano Garzelli
2009 Michele Scarponi
2008 Fabian Cancellara
2007 Andreas Kloden
2006 Thomas Dekker
2005 Oscar Freire
2004 Paolo Bettini
2003 Filipo Pozzato

Related links

2012: Tirreno-Adriatico coverage index