For years now, the Tirreno-Adriatico has been an ideal hunting ground for all types of riders: climbers, sprinters, time trialists, breakaway specialists etc. The 2024 edition will be no exception, as from the 4th to the 10th of March the riders will be faced with seven stages of increasing difficulty which will eventually give us Primož Roglič’s successor.
Following recent tradition, the competition will kick off with a short 10-kilometre individual time trial on the seafront of Lido di Camaiore on Italy’s western coast in Tuscany. The route is as flat as can be and with very few bends. 5.6 km after the start is the intermediate time check of Viareggio, which is also where the riders will turn around and head back towards Lido di Camaiore. The fact that the last two editions of this particular TT were both won by Filippo Ganna should be enough to explain how this is a test suitable for specialists.
The race continues with the 198-km Camaiore-Follonica, which should more than likely boil down to a bunch sprint. The KOM of Castellina Marittima, a rather long but completely rideable climb, is located halfway through the stage, but the last 60 km are as flat as a pancake.
The next day will see the peloton going from Volterra to Gualdo Tadino on a 225-km stage, the longest of this edition of the Corsa dei Due Mari. This will be a lumpy test: keeping the breakaway under control, especially if numerous, will not be a trivial matter, and even the finale does not look easy to manage, due to the climb of Casacastalda (5.9 km at 3.6%) with 16 km to go and the slightly uphill final stretch in Gualdo Tadino.
Day 4 will take the athletes from Umbria to Abruzzo, on the 207-km Arrone-Giulianova. The fast wheels could have their third consecutive chance, as the last 100 kilometres do not present any particular difficulties, except for the intermediate sprint in Mosciano Sant’Angelo on an uphill stretch of road. The only question is at what speed the Valico di Castelluccio (16.9 km at 5%, 70 km after the start) will be tackled, but given the remarkable distance to the finish line, this ascent should not pose too big a threat for the sprinters. Once again, the finale is rather tricky, as the road tends to climb slightly.
The first real shake-up of the general classification will come on stage 5, the short but hilly Torricella Sicura-Valle Castellana of 146 km. After the unclassified climbs of Penna Sant’Andrea and Castellalto, the race will kick into high gear with the ascent of San Giacomo (11.9km at 6.2%), which will be tackled with 25 km to go. That is followed by a 13km descent to a flat section along Lake Valle Castellana (about 2 km at 5%) and then to the finish, with the last kilometre climbing at 7%. After a few days of waiting, the big GC names will finally be called to action.
The Queen Stage, however, is the sixth, the 180 km Sassoferrato-Monte Petrano, featuring a steep and selective uphill finish. Other than the three KOMs on paper, the truth is that this part of Le Marche’s hinterland has hardly any flat ground to play with. At km 67 the peloton will face the climb of La Forchetta (3.2 km at 7.3%), which will be followed by several ups and downs leading to the intermediate sprint of Pian di Trebbio after about 7 km of climbing at 5%. The next challenge will be the wall-like climb to Moria (2.4 km at 8.5%) with 26 km to go, followed by the final and decisive kilometres leading to the arrival on Monte Petrano. These 10km killer at 8% will more than likely give us the winner of the Trident.