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14 December 2018

Tirreno-Adriatico 2019: where innovation meets tradition

In the Aula Magna of Recanati city council – birthplace of the poet Giacomo Leopardi which will host one of the most spectacular stages of the 2019 Race of the Two Seas, on Sunday 17 March – the 54th edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport has been unveiled today. The race, scheduled from 13 to 19 March 2019, is organized by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 2019 course is slightly different from recent editions, reminiscent of traditional Tirreno-Adriatico editions rich in muri – literally ‘walls’; very steep and short climbs. Muri feature throughout the 2019 course, with some gradients hitting 18% and above. There are hard climbs leading to Fossombrone, with the Cappuccini wall to be faced twice in the finale, plus walls in Recanati (the hardest one close to the finish line), and longer climbs in Pomarance from as early as Stage 2. A new addition is the dedication of a stage to wine: Stage 6, Matelica-Jesi, will be the Wine Stage, celebrating Verdicchio, the world-famous white wine produced in Le Marche. Unchanged from the last editions are the two Time Trials, the opening one for Teams in Lido di Camaiore and the final one for Individuals in San Benedetto del Tronto. The two stages dedicated to the fastest wheels in the peloton are those finishing in Foligno and Jesi.

THE COURSE

Stage 1 – Lido di Camaiore (Team Time Trial) – 21.5km

  • The TTT route comprises two virtually straight sectors, rolling along the two lanes of the same road, on the Camaiore-Forte dei Marmi seafront. Halfway, the route takes a “square turn” around a block.
  • For the fifth consecutive year Lido di Camaiore will host the start of the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport.

Stage 2 – Camaiore-Pomarance – 189km

  • The stage starts uphill, taking in climbs up Montemagno and Pitoro over its opening kilometres. A long flat stretch follows, leading all the way to the final undulations. The route passes through Castellina Marittima, Riparbella, Montecatini Val di Cecina and Volterra (including their respective climbs), up to the final ascent leading to Pomarance. The stage is made for finisseurs, and GC contenders should keep an eye on them.
  • It’s the third time the stage starts in Camaiore and finishes in Pomarance: the 2016 stage winner was Zdenek Stybar, followed in 2017 by Geraint Thomas.

Stage 3 – Pomarance-Foligno – 224km

  • The route is initially wavy, and becomes increasingly flatter as it approaches the finish. This long stage follows the constant undulations of the territory of Siena, including Passo del Rospatoio, enters Umbria through the Trasimeno plain and brushes by Assisi and Spello, all the way to the final sprint around the walls of Foligno.
  • Foligno will host the arrival of a stage of the Race of the Two Seas for the fourth time.

Stage 4 – Foligno-Fossombrone – 223km

  • This stage, together with the following one, are the hardest of the race. Starting from Foligno, the route follows a wavy but uncomplicated course and then brushes by Fossombrone. Here, the route takes in a series of walls, with a variety of challenging gradients, on narrow roads across the Marches valleys, all the way to the double closing circuit. It includes a double pass over the Muro dei Cappuccini, just 5.7km from the finish in Fossombrone.
  • This is the first time Fossombrone hosts the finish of a Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport stage.

Stage 5 – Colli al Metauro-Recanati – 178km

  • The peloton will be confronted with the iconic ‘muri’ of Recanati. Starting from Colli al Metauro and covering a semi-circuit through Saltara, Calcinelli and Lucrezia, the stage then follows a mostly flat route all the way to Recanati. Past Loreto, the route will take in nine consecutive climbs, some steep, others more gentle. A final 22.3km circuit, to be covered three times, features two leg-sapping walls (the one closest to the finish is especially tough, with gradients of around 18%).
  • Recanati will host the arrival of a Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport stage for the second time after the Macerata-Recanati ITT in 2008, won by Fabian Cancellara on his way to GC victory.

Stage 6 – Matelica-Jesi – 195km

  • Despite its wavy and bumpy start, this stage is made for sprinters. Starting in Matelica, the route covers a short semi-circuit then heads for Castelraimondo and San Severino Marche. After the Valico di Pietra Rossa climb, towards Cingoli, the route levels out and leads all the way to Jesi, to cover three laps of the final 12.3km circuit.
  • Jesi is hosting the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport for the first time.

Stage 7 – San Benedetto del Tronto (Individual Time Trial) – 10.1km

  • The route of this 10,050m Individual Time Trial mainly follows the final circuit of the conclusive stages of the late 1990s and recent 2000s editions, and is the same as featured since 2015. The last 2.5km are on an almost entirely straight route.
  • This is a longstanding tradition for the Race of the Two Seas: San Benedetto del Tronto will host the end of the race for the 53rd time in 54 editions – only the very first edition of Tirreno-Adriatico in 1966 did not conclude there: the final stage was the San Benedetto del Tronto-Pescara.

Discover more about the 2019 route, click here.

STATISTICS

  • The first Pole followed the first Colombian: in 2018 Michał Kwiatkowski became the first Polish winner of Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport. He followed Nairo Quintana, the race’s first Colombian winner in 2015 (a victory he repeated in 2017).
  • Triple record: BMC Racing Team has won the last three editions of the opening TTT stage at the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport, recording the fastest average times in the history of the race: 56.947km/h in 2016, 58.329km/h in 2017 and 57.777km/h in 2018.
  • Sagan looking for a record: the Slovak Peter Sagan, who has raced Tirreno-Adriatico consecutively since 2012, has won seven stages, one shy of the eight stage victories of Alessandro Petacchi, Moreno Argentin and Giuseppe Saronni; the three Italians are joint third overall in the stage victories list of the Race of the Two Seas, behind the Spaniard Oscar Freire (11) and the leader Roger De Vlaeminck: the Belgian who won 15 stages.
  • 12 countries: in the last three editions (2015-18) 12 different countries have won a Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport stage, showing the great variety of international participation.

QUOTES

Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “This year we have decided to announce the route of the 2019 edition from the Marche Region again because, alongside Tuscany and Umbria, it will be one of the Italian Regions represented with start and finish locations. This year, as we’ve done in the Giro d’Italia in recent years, we’ve dedicated one stage to the local wine to put its world-renowned top quality Italian excellence under the spotlight. The Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport is always one of the most fascinating races on the international scene; scrolling through the list of starters and the roll of honor of 53 editions, all the great champions are there. Being broadcasted to 193 countries across the five continents, and with more than 250 Italian and international media present, signifies that the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport has an audience that only a few races in the world can match.”

Stefano Allocchio, RCS Sport Race Director, said: “The route is slightly different from the one proposed in recent years with the initial and final Time Trials, two sprint stages and three stages for finisseurs. There would not be a hilltop finish without making the race less hard than in previous editions. 9,000 metres of vertical elevation and the many walls that the riders will face, in particular in the hilly part of Le Marche, will make for a well fought race. The formula we have proposed looks back to this race’s tradition and gives the opportunity to all riders to better express their character.”

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