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The 49th edition of Tirreno – Adriatico – which starts on Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 – was presented yesterday to the world’s cycling press at the Grand Hotel & La Pace in Montecatini Terme.
The 2014 edition of the race will start from Donoratico and end, as is now traditional, in San Benedetto del Tronto, Tuesday, 18th March. In 2013, the Italian stage race, organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, saw all the best riders in the world on its start line; the finale saw Vincenzo Nibali secure his second consecutive victory (ahead of his Giro d’Italia victory), ahead of Christopher Froome (the eventual winner of the 2013 Tour de France) and Alberto Contador. The 2014 route will see two time trial stages (one for teams and one individual), two sprint stages, two stages for climbers, and one for finisseurs.
The 16.9km team time trial from Donoratico to San Vincenzo will open the 49th Corsa dei Due Mari. The next day there will be a stage of 173 km, from San Vincenzo to Cascina (Pisa), with a lively elevation profile for its first half, before flattening for the remainder of the stage to the sprinters their opportunity to shine. The third stage, from Cascina to Arezzo (206 km), will finish with a final climb that should be suitable for both sprinters and finisseurs to claim victory. The fourth stage, from Indicatore - Cittareale Selvarotonda, is a total of 237 km, combined with an uphill finish at 1.535 meters that should allow the strongest climbers to have their moment. The final climb is 17 km long with an average gradient between 7 and 8%. The fifth stage is unquestionably for the climbers. With the Passo Lanciano at 27 km to go and the spectacular and terrible final on the Guardiagrele wall (Chieti), which, for its last 600m, touches on a brutal 30% gradient, sparks should fly. Monday 17th March sees the penultimate stage from Bucchianico to Porto Sant'Elpidio (187 km) and is certainly one for the sprinters. The final stage, as per tradition, will be a 9.2 km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.
The most successful winner of Tirreno - Adriatico is Belgian Roger De Vlaeminck, who won six editions of the race, from 1972 to 1977, and since then holds the records for both the total number of wins and for the most consecutive victories. Before of the Nibali double in 2012 and 2013, Cadel Evans took the win and with it, the honor of being the first Australian to win it.
The Corsa dei Due Mari has so far seen a perfect balance between Italian and foreign winners: 24 each, made up of:
Italy: 24 editions
Australia, Germany, Norway and Sweden: 1.
At the presentation of the 49th edition of Tirreno - Adriatico were present, among others, RCS Sport General Manager, Michele Acquarone, Tirreno - Adriatico Director of Operations Mauro Vegni, and RCS Sport Head of Sport Management Stefano Allocchio.
Vegni: “I want to thank first of all the FCI for hosting us at Casa Azzurri for the presentation of the Tirreno - Adriatico 2014. We are very excited to present you so much earlier than in the past the Corsa dei Due Mari. A race that especially in recent years has increased its international profile to become one of the most important stage races in the world.”
Allocchio: “Even in 2014 we will start with a team time trial, with the course inverted compared to the opening stage last year. Then there will be room for sprinters in Cascina. The third stage will be completed in the historic centre of Arezzo and promises to be very ”eventful”. The next day, the arrival in Cittareale Selvarotonda will test all athletes with the last 7 km uphill. The fifth stage involves the final climb towards the finish line in Guardiagrele with an inclination as high as 30%. It will be fun! In Porto Sant'Elpidio there’s probably still room for sprinters. There will then be the classic finale with the individual time trial stage of San Benedetto. A Tirreno - Adriatico that respects tradition but has some ”goodies” that will certainly make the fight for the final victory very interesting.”
Acquarone: “Mauro and Stefano were really wonderful in designing the Corsa dei Due Mari. A stage race that is now world-class. Last year, the podium was fantastic and I think everyone had lot of fun. We are trying to do the maximum to make the event more interesting and compelling; and with the cooperation of everyone, including athletes and teams, with the common goal to reach the largest possible audience. We want to thank all our local institutions: we will bring to the world pictures of your city and your beauty. If we work together we can bring thousands of fans on the streets of Tirreno - Adriatico, certainly giving a better image which will benefit everyone.”
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