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by Shane Stokes
March 3, 2015
Billing it as a historic moment where the four Grand Tour winners will compete in the same race for the first time ever, the organisers of Tirreno-Adriatico have confirmed that Tour de France winners Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali plus the 2014 Giro d’Italia champion Nairo Quintana will all line out in the upcoming Tirreno-Adriatico this month.
All have a strong history in the race but have never take the start of this or any other event at the same time. Contador won Tirreno-Adriatico last year while Nibali was the champion in 2012 and 2013. Both Froome and Quintana have finished as runners-up in the past.
“I am really looking forward to returning to this race because I had fantastic sensation there last year,” said Contador. “It gives me another opportunity to meet the Italian fans, who have always made me feel at home.”
The WorldTour race, which runs from March 11 to 17, will feature the top 17 ProTeams as well as five Pro Continental invites, and will feature one of the strongest fields in its history.
Besides the six-time Grand Tour winner Contador, the 2013 Tour winner Froome, last year’s Tour winner Nibali and Giro champ Quintana, the lineup will also feature a host of other big names.
Also present will be the sprinters Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin), Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), Elia Viviani (Sky), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18)
The field will also include past Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia winner Dan Martin, his Cannondale-Garmin team-mate Ryder Hesjedal, a former Giro d’Italia winner, double Giro runner-up Rigoberto Uran, double Lombardia champion Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), multiple Classic winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Tour de France podium finisher Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).
Further big names will be Carlos Betancur and Domenico Pozzovivo of the Ag2r La Mondiale team, former world hour record holder Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Soudal), Pierre Roland (Europcar), Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Robert Gesink and Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto NL – Jumbo), Fabio Duarte (Colombia), Adam Yates and Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) and MTN-Qhubeka’s Gerald Ciolek, a past Milan Sanremo winner, and Edvald Boasson Hagen.
The race will start from Camaiore’s renowned Lido with a 22.7 kilometre team time trial. Stage two is a likely sprinters’ stage to Cascina, while stage three will finish on the Arezzo climb where Peter Sagan won last year. Day four will include four King of the Mountains climbs prior to the descent towards Castelraimondo, while the following day is the queen stage to the summit of Monte Terminillo.
The penultimate stage to Porto Sant’Elpidio will likely suit the sprinters, while the final GC will be decided on the last day by a ten kilometre individual time trial to San Benedetto del Tronto.