Stage one of the Tirreno-Adriatico changes from a 22.7km team time trial to a 5.7km individual time trial due to strong winds that are battering the Tuscany coast

RCS Sport, organiser of Tirreno-Adriatico, has been forced to amend stage one of the race, which starts on Wednesday, due to poor weather in the Tuscany region.

Initially planned as a 22.7km team time trial, stage one will now be a 5.7km individual time trial around the streets of Lido di Camaiore, near Viareggio.

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Strong winds that have hit the coastal region have forced RCS’s hand, with a long team time trial potentially proving tricky in the gales.

Instead, the shortened route will use the same start and finish lines as the original route, skirting near the seafront before turning back and heading inland after the halfway mark.

Tirreno stage 1

The race has suffered from a couple of high-profile withdrawals just days before the start, with both Chris Froome and Marcel Kittel pulling out through illness. Kittel’s sprint rival Mark Cavendish could also be hampered by an illness he reportedly picked up in South Africa.

Froome was set to line up against Tour de France rivals Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana in the Italian race but will have to wait until the Volta a Catalunya at the end of March for his return to the saddle.