The route of the 2013 edition of Tirreno-Adriatio was unveiled by the Italian stage race's organiser, RCS Sport, on Monday.
The seven-stage WorldTour race runs from Wednesday March 6 to Tuesday March 12, and starts and finishes with stages against the clock. In between there are two flat stages for the sprinters, a mountains stage for the climbers and two further hilly stages that may suit escapes or attacks.
Both of the opening two stages kick off in San Vincenzo, the first is a 16.9-kilometre team time trial with a 232km flat stage on Thursday, March 7. Friday's stage is another one for the sprinters, before the 'queen' mountain stage on Saturday from Narni to finish atop Prati di Tivo that should help to shake up the overall classification as much as the time trials. Prati di Tivo is around 14.5km long and features a gradient of 12 per cent in some sections.
Then follows two hilly days that could see a breakaway or attacker gain an advantage - Sunday's long 230km stage from Ortona to Chieti (230km) and Monday's punishing 209km loop starting and finishing in Porto Sant'Elpidio.
The final stage individual time trial on Tuesday, March 12, is a short 9.2-kilometre trip along the San Benedetto del Tronto sea front.
Grand Tour contender Ivan Basso commented: "The race is ideal preparation for the Grand Tours, in particular to find the right balance you need in a team. Sometimes our race programmes are drawn up in winter when you don't know the specific details of the races. Now that Team Cannondale knows the route of Tirreno-Adriatico we will decide who will be our best team to race it."
Last year's race was won by Vincenzo Nibali, who switched teams from Liquigas (now Cannondale) to Astana over the winter.
British 2012 Vuelta a Espana stage winner Steve Cummings (BMC Racing) was one of several past and present riders attending the presentation, including Damiano Cunego, Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso.
Team Sky Briton Chris Froome is scheduled to take part in Tirreno-Adriatico as part of his preparations ahead of his assault on the overall classification of the 2013 Tour de France in July.
Anglo-German team NetApp-Endura and African squad MTN-Qhubeka were named along with Katusha and Vini Fantini-Selle Italia as the wildcard outfits that will race alongside the 18 top-tier ProTeams at the event.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2013: Stages
Stage one, Wednesday March 6, San Vincenzo to Donoratico, 16.9km TTT
Stage two, Thursday March 7, San Vincenzo to Indicatore (Arezzo), 232km
Stage three, Friday March 8, Indicatore to Narni-Scalo, 190km
Stage four, Saturday March 9, Narni to Prati di Tivo, 173 km
Stage five, Sunday March 10, Ortona to Chieti, 230 km
Stage six, Monday March 11, Porto Sant'Elpidio to Porto Sant'Elpidio, 209km
Stage seven, Tuesday March 12, San Benedetto del Tronto to San Benedetto del Tronto, 9.2km ITT
Route of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico. Map: RCS Sport
Whole race profile
The route is presented to the world
Steve Cummings (left) lines up with Damiano Cunego (centre) and Ivan Basso (centre right) at the route presentation
Giro d'Italia and other RCS Sport race wildcard teams announced
2013 UCI WorldTour calendar
Tirreno-Adriatico 2012: Coverage index - includes stage reports and news
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