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42nd Tirreno-Adriatico: Preview
By Fabio
Date: 3/13/2007
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico: Preview

From sea to cycling sea. The 42nd edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, the so-called "Race of the Two Seas" ("corsa dei due mari" in Italian) kicks off the Pro Tour season in Italy. The starting shot of the seven-leg event, and good fine-tuning race for the upcoming Milan-Sanremo, will be given Wednesday, March 14th, in the town of Civitavecchia, about 50 miles to the northwest of Rome, on the Tirreno (sea) side of the matter. Six days and close to 1,100 km. later, the Adriatic resort of San Benedetto del Tronto will play host to the final moments of the event for the 41st time in its histiory.

The 2007 Tirreno-Adriatico drew a world-class field to the roads of central Italy. First of all, Ivan Basso will make his way back to competitive cycling in his homeland, 290 days after the Giro d'Italia celebrations in Milan (and with a certain Operaciˇn Puerto in between, but those looking forward to reading about scandals, "gossips" and such are in the wrong article, sorry ...). The fuoriclasse from Varese, battling recent knee problems after the Tour of California, will have to share the spotlight with other top names of the professional peloton, from Alessandro Petacchi to Paolo Bettini, but we'd better watch out for other Italians too: Filippo Pozzato, Stefano Garzelli,Michele Scarponi, Rinaldo Nocentini, Luca Mazzanti, Cristian Moreni, Alessandro Ballan, Danilo Napolitano, Vincenzo Nibali, Dario David Cioni, Mirko Celestino, Ruggero Marzoli, Salvatore Commesso and youngsters like Giovanni Visconti and Riccardo Ricc˛ already proved that they are good enough to make the headlines in races like this.

And there's a strong foreign contingent in attendance too. First there is the defending champion Thomas Dekker, the young talent from The Netherlands who got a surprise (but not for those who discovered his abilities while following him thru younger classes some years ago) victory in the past edition. He's not the only ace up the Rabo-sleeves though: his team fields the accomplished Michael Boogerd, but notably Oscar Freire, who sure knows from his past experience what rocking the field in this race is about, and will pose a damn serious threat to Petacchi's domination of the sprint finishes. More top fastmen from abroad are ready to show off in front of the tifosi: Robbie McEwen, Thor Hushovd, Stuart O'Grady and German sprinters Schumacher and Ciolek will be at the start line, and do their best in order to give AleJet and the three-time world champion a hard time, just like Boonen and Bennati did (to Petacchi) at Qatar and Valencia respectively. Neither of AleJet's chief rivals will be here (both the Belgian and the Lampre-man are still waiting to get something good at the ongoing Paris-Nice), but still opposition is strong enough to have some great sprints going.

Speaking of rainbow-jersey wearers, watch out for Fabian Cancellara in the challenge against the clock at Civitanova Marche, and also Alexandre Vinokurov and Tyler Hamilton might have something to tell us that day, and perhaps not just that day. We would not pick Andreas Kloden as main favourite to win the race, but still the man from the eastern regions of Germany could go for some glory.

Panaria's Paride Grillo will be back in the saddle after being "sidelined" for 15 days as he failed a blood test at the Vuelta Valenciana in late February, while the most excellent absentee will arguably be unfit Danilo Di Luca, "followed" by team-mate Leonardo Bertagnolli. The two Liquigas riders have been replaced by Kjell Carlstr÷m and Francesco Failli.

Stages and Altimetries

Stage 1 (Civitavecchia to Civitavecchia, 175 km)

Stage 2 (Civitavecchia to Marsciano, 202 km)

Stage 3 (Marsciano to Macerata, 213 km)

Stage 4 (Pievebovigliana to Offagna, 161 km)

Stage 5 (Civitanova Marche to Civitanova Marche Alta, ITT - 20.5 km)

Stage 6 (S.Benedetto del Tronto to S.Giacomo Monti della Laga, 164 km)

Stage 7 (Civitella del Tronto to San Benedetto del Tronto, 177 km)

List of Participating Teams
Acqua & Sapone-CaffŔ Mokambo (Ita)
AG2R Prevoyance (Fra)
Astana (Swi)
Bouygues Telecom (Fra)
Caisse dĺEpargne (Spa)
Ceramica Panaria-Navigare (Ire)
Cofidis, le credit par telephone (Fra)
Credit Agricole (Fra)
Discovery Channel (USA)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
Franšaise des Jeux (Fra)
Gerolsteiner (Ger)
Lampre-Fondital (Ita)
Liquigas (Ita)
Predictor-Lotto (Bel)
Quick Step-Innergetic (Bel)
Rabobank (Hol)
Saunier Duval-Prodir (Spa)
Team CSC (Den)
Team Milram (Ita)
Tinkoff Credit System (Ita)
T-Mobile Team (Ger)

Past Winners
1966 ZANDEGU' Dino (Ita)
1967 BITOSSI Franco (Ita)
1968 MICHELOTTO Claudio (Ita)
1969 CHIAPPANO Carlo (Ita)
1970 HOUBRECHTS Tony (Bel)
1971 ZILIOLI Italo (Ita)
1972 DE VLAEMINCK Roger (Bel)
1973 DE VLAEMINCK Roger (Bel)
1974 DE VLAEMINCK Roger (Bel)
1975 DE VLAEMINCK Roger (Bel)
1976 DE VLAEMINCK Roger (Bel)
1977 DE VLAEMINCK Roger (Bel)
1978 SARONNI Giuseppe (Ita)
1979 KNUDSEN Knud (Nor)
1980 MOSER Francesco (Ita)
1981 MOSER Francesco (Ita)
1982 SARONNI Giuseppe (Ita)
1983 VISENTINI Roberto (Ita)
1984 PRIM Tommy (Swe)
1985 ZOETEMELK Joop (Hol)
1986 RABOTTINI Luciano (Ita)
1987 SORENSEN Rolf (Den)
1988 MAECHLER Eric (Swi)
1989 ROMINGER Tony (Swi)
1990 ROMINGER Tony (Swi)
1991 DIAZ ZABALA Pedro (Spa)
1992 SORENSEN Rolf (Den)
1993 FONDRIEST Maurizio (Ita)
1994 FURLAN Giorgio (Ita)
1995 COLAG╚ Stefano (Ita)
1996 CASAGRANDE Francesco (Ita)
1997 PETITO Roberto (Ita)
1998 JAERMANN Rolf (Swi)
1999 BARTOLI Michele (Ita)
2000 OLANO MANZANO Abraham (Spa)
2001 REBELLIN Davide (Ita)
2002 DEKKER Erik (Hol)
2003 POZZATO Filippo (Ita)
2004 BETTINI Paolo (Ita)
2005 FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar (Spa)
2006 DEKKER Thomas (Hol)

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