Nibali, Valverde and Van Garderen headline strong field at Tirreno-Adriatico

The 51st edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico will feature many stars on the start line. Nibali shoots for his third victory; Valverde, Uran, Chaves, Rodriguez and Van Garderen are among his main GC rivals – with many time trial specialists, classics riders and sprinters looking for stage wins.

Racing from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic Sea, through seven stages which favour every kind of specialist: finisseurs, cronomen and sprinters. It starts with the Team Time Trial on Stage 1 and ends with the Individual Time Trial; in between are two sprinter stages, two stages for the finisseurs and a mountain top finish – 1,208 metres above sea level of Monte San Vicino. Listed here are all the riders who form the provisional entry list of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’, from 9 to 15 March, organised by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The main challengers for the overall GC victory are lead by Vincenzo Nibali, who shows good form by recently winning in Oman, and is looking for his tris after his 2012 and 2013 edition Tirreno-Adriatico victories. Alejandro Valverde, who won February’s Ruta del Sol, is definitely one contender to threaten “The Shark”. Rigoberto Uran – one of the great protagonists of the last few years in the – Esteban Chaves – an emerging climber and winner of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour – Joaquin Rodriguez and Tejay Van Garderen – who starts the Tirreno-Adriatico for the first time – are among the favourites.

World Champion Peter Sagan, alongside Fabian Cancellara, Greg Van Avermaet, Michał Kwiatkowski, Taylor Phinney, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Daniel Martin, Tony Martin, Diego Ulissi, Davide Formolo and Daniel Moreno have the speed and power to make them the men to watch in the finisseur stages (Pomarance and Foligno) and in the final Individual Time Trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

The fight among the sprinters is set to be very open, with some of the very best at the start of the race such as Mark Cavendish, Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan, Fernando Gaviria, Moreno Hofland, Sasha Modolo, Heinrich Haussler and Giacomo Nizzolo challenging for stage victories – Montalto di Castro and Cepagatti are the best stages for the fastest wheels.