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Tirreno-Adriatico, stuff for Grand Tour winners


Besides the three Grand Tours, no stage race is more eagerly desired and prepared by the riders than the Tirreno-Adriatico. To get confirmation of this, one only has to leaf through the list of starters in the editions of the last decade. The level of excellence competing year after year on the roads of the “Corsa dei Due Mari” (Race of the Two Seas) is undeniable.

If we look at the last 14 editions – i.e. since Tirreno-Adriatico slightly changed its philosophy, making the competition more suitable for climbers and stage racers – no fewer than 12 of them have been claimed and won by riders with at least one Grand Tour in their trophy case. And in the two editions where this was not the case, the Tirreno-Adriatico has been won by an Olympic champion and winner of Paris-Roubaix, namely Greg Van Avermaet in 2016 – the year in which the queen stage with arrival in Monte San Vicino was cancelled due to bad weather – and by a world champion and winner of Milano-Sanremo and Strade Bianche, Michal Kwiatkowski, in 2018. Otherwise, since 2009, the Tirreno-Adriatico has always been a hunting ground for riders who have also excelled in the three-week races.

Opening the streak was the late Michele Scarponi back in 2009, who would then go on to win the Giro d’Italia in 2011. 2010 was Stefano Garzelli’s edition (winner of the 2000 Giro), followed by Cadel Evans (2011 Tour de France) in 2011, Vincenzo Nibali (2013 and 2016 Giro d’Italia, 2014 Tour de France and 2010 Vuelta a España) in 2012 and 2013, Alberto Contador (Giro d’Italia 2008 and 2015, Tour 2007 and 2009, Vuelta 2008, 2012, 2014) in 2014, Nairo Quintana (Giro 2014, Vuelta 2016) in 2015 and 2017, Primoz Roglic (Vuelta 2019, 2020, 2021) in 2019, Simon Yates (Vuelta 2018) in 2020, and, more recently, Tadej Pogacar (Tour 2020 and 2021) in 2021 and 2022.

Already announced for the 2023 edition are, among others, Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour in 2018, and Jai Hindley, winner of the Corsa Rosa in 2022, who will undoubtedly be among the favourites. And what if the winner of the next edition should not be an athlete who has already won a three-week race? Well, we’d better keep his name in mind then, because he might do so in just a few years’ time.

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