The 57th Tirreno-Adriatico route covers just over 1,100 kilometres this year and unusually begins with an individual time trial, instead of finishing with one. There are tests for all kinds of riders across the seven days, from one side of Italy to the other.
With two realistic chances for the sprinters, four stages for puncheurs and aggressive climbers and that time trial to start, there are lots of opportunities.
Stage one is a pan-flat time trial of 13.9km which will settle an order in the general classification from the beginning. It consists of an out and back route around Lido di Camaiore, the traditional start town of the race.
Stage two is a hilly day, with 2150 metres of climbing across a 219km route. However, there is a relatively flat finish which could mean a chance for the faster men of the peloton.
The third day might bring a more likely chance for the sprinters, with another flat finish, but there will still be a lot of climbing during the day. The climbs of La Foce and Amelia could prove a test for the heavier men.
Stage four is the first out-and-out chance for the puncheurs or fast climbers, with the final circuit around Bellante seeing the bunch tackle the same sharp hill three times.
Stage five from Sefro to Fermo is yet another hilly affair, with two categorised climbs in the final 10km. The route over the Apennines will see the riders using their smaller gears quite often.
The biggest climbing test of the race will come on stage six, with two climbs of the Cippo di Carpegna. There are 3700 metres of altitude gain over the day, which will surely test all but the best climbers in the peloton.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 stages
|Stage one, Mon March 7||Lido di Camaiore - Lido di Camaiore||13.9km, ITT|
|Stage two, Tues March 8||Camaiore - Sovicille||219km, hills|
|Stage three, Weds March 9||Murlo - Terni||170km, flat|
|Stage four, Thurs March 10||Cascata delle Marmore - Bellante||202km, hills|
|Stage five, Fri March 11||Sefro - Fermo||155km, hills|
|Stage six, Sat March 12||Apecchio - Carpegna||215km, hills|
|Stage seven, Sun March 13||San Benedetto del Tronto - San Benedetto del Tronto||159km, flat|
Stage one: Lido di Camaiore > Lido di Camaiore, 13.9km
A simple time trial kicks off this year's Tirreno-Adriatico, which should set up the initial general classification. It will be a fast affair, with barely any metres of climbing along the seafront.
Stage two: Camaiore > Sovicille, 219km
Stage two is a punchy affair which might suit a breakaway staying away if the sprinters don't fancy it. However, there is a flat finish which might be the first chance for a bunch sprint.
Stage three: Murlo > Terni, 170km
Stage three has been designated by the organisers as a flat stage, but there will still be a lot of climbing for the bunch to get to before they get the opportunity to sprint in Terni.
Stage four: Cascata delle Marmore > Bellante, 202km
The fourth day will certainly will be on for the puncheurs as riders are forced to tackle the same steep climb three times in the last 40km. A tiring day in the saddle for all.
Stage five: Sefro > Fermo, 155km
Another punchy-day with short, sharp climbs all the way to the finish. In the run in there are gradients of up to 20% and the final few metres are all pretty vertical.
Stage six: Apecchio > Carpegna, 215km
The biggest climbing day of the race sees the peloton climb 3700 metres overall, which sounds similar to a Giro d'Italia stage. This will surely be the day that decides the general classification.
Stage seven: San Benedetto del Tronto > San Benedetto del Tronto, 159km
Rather than the traditional final time trial to San Benedetto del Tronto, this year's race will certainly end in a bunch sprint. The final 80km are almost pancake flat.
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Hello, I'm Cycling Weekly's digital staff writer. I like pretending to be part of the great history of cycling writing, and acting like a pseudo-intellectual in general.
Before joining the team here I wrote for Procycling for almost two years, interviewing riders and writing about racing. My favourite event is Strade Bianche, but I haven't quite made it to the Piazza del Campo just yet.
Prior to covering the sport of cycling, I wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. I have degrees in history and journalism.
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