JONAS VINGEGAARD HIGH FAVORITE IN TIRRENO ADRIATICO

Yesterday was the first stage in Paris-Nice and it was immediately accompanied by fireworks from fellow top favorite Remco Evenepoel. However, that other top favorite Primoz Roglic did not let himself be caught by Evenepoel's invitation to give it a patch and kept a low profile. Perhaps the best tactic if you want to be the overall winner?

The Tirreno-Adriatico starts today in Italy. The race will begin with a time trial, which will make the first difference in the general classification. This Tirreno has only one clear favorite and that is Jonas Vingegaard! It seems as if Jonas is even stronger than last year and that he will trot to the final victory. Or will there still be men who will put the fire to him?

Race route

Stage 1: 04/03/24 – Lido di Camaiore – Lido di Camaiore – ITT -10 km
Once again the Tirreno starts with a time trial in Lido di Camaiore. The time trial is ten kilometers long with very few turns and a turning point after 5.5 km. Does Vingegaard make a first appearance here? Surprising fact: Jonas Vingegaard is third on the start sheet and starts his time trial already at 12:37 p.m. Fellow favorite for the stage win Filippo Ganna starts at 3:24 p.m. and Mark Stewart starts last at 3:29 p.m.

Stage 2: 05/03/24 – Camaiore – Follonica -199 km
The second stage of this Tirreno-Adriatico is a relatively flat stage. The riders will start in Camaiore and about halfway there is one real climb – 11.7 km at 3% in the course. The finish in Follonica therefore looks like a rendezvous point between the sprinters.

Stage 3: 06/03/24 – Volterra – Gualdo Tadion – 225 km
The third stage is contantly on undulating roads, but insurmountable obstacles are not in it for the sprinters. The final kilometers run false flat uphill and so then chances are fairly high that it will be one of the strong fast men who can win here.

Stage 4: 07/03/24 – Arrone – Giulianova – 207 km
On day four, for the second day in a row, the peloton is presented with a stage of over two hundred kilometers. In this stage, the Valico di Castellucio (16.9 km at 5%) is the first really serious climb of this Tirreno. However, the climb is too far from the line to provoke the classification riders, but it is a great opportunity for the men aiming for a breakaway.

There is another uncategorized slope in the finale, to Mosciano Sant Angelo (2.7 km at 3.8%). In addition, the last kilometer and a half is uphill at just under three percent. If it becomes a sprint, it will probably be with a more limited peloton anyway.

Stage 5: 08/03/24 – Torricella Sicura – Valle Castellana – 144 km
Today the first of two consecutive mountain stages is on the schedule. With the climb to Castelalto (7.8 km at 4.5%) and the climb to San Giacomo (11.9 km at 6.2% – out of category), there are two real cols on the route. But it’s much more than that, as it goes up and down all the way from the start to the finish. The summit of the Passo di San Giacomo is still more than 23 kilometers from the finish, but at 10 kilometers from the finish there is another climb of about two kilometers at more than 5%, after which the last seven kilometers are false flat up to the finish.

Stage 6: 09/03/24 – Sassoferrato – Cagli – 180 km
This is the queen stage with arrival at the top of Monte Petrano, a ten kilometer climb at an average of eight percent. This is where wins and losses of the Tirreno-Adriatico will be decided. Before the riders start the Monte Petrano, they have already had the Forchetta (3.2 km at 7.3%), Plan di Trebbio (7 km at 5%) and the Moria (2.4 km at 8.5%), under their wheels. Enough altimeters to make it a battlefield.

Stage 7: 10/03/24 – San Benedetto del Tronto – San Benedetto del Tronto – 154 km
Another sprint stage. Although the first half of this stage is still quite hilly, the local course is completely flat with five 15 km local laps. Last year Jasper Philipsen won here ahead of Dylan Groenewegen. Will it be another Belgian stage win?

Favorites
As written above, there is only one top favorite and that is Jonas Vingegaard. The two-time Tour winner, has shown how strong he is in the O Gran Camiño as he did in 2023 (see photo stage 2023). In that round this year, he won three stages and was once again a few sizes too big for his classification competitors.
Challengers for Vingegaard in this Tirreno are: Daniel Felipe Martinez, Enric Mas, Tom Pidcock, Juan Ayuso, Marc Hirschi, Ben O’Connor, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Thymen Arensman, Jay Hindley and Richard Carapaz

Sprinters
With Tim Merlier, Jasper Philipsen, Mark Cavendish, Caleb Ewan, Alexander Kristoff and Biniam Girmay, there are plenty of sprinters ready to provide that spectacle as well.

On TV
Tirreno-Adriatico can be watched live on Eurosport 1.

Daniel Felipe Martinez here riding in the yellow jersey in the past Volta oa Algarve © Patrick Van Gansen

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