Nibali, Quintana, Contador, Sagan, Cancellara, Cavendish. The start-list of Tirreno-Adriatico reads as if it were that of the Tour.
La Grande Boucle is the big show, the lighthouse of the season, but outside the Tour de France, the fortunes of races rise and fall from year to year. There was a time when the Vuelta a España was withering on the vine, the Giro, too. Now, il Giro is the tempestuous and beautiful darling of the press and fans (riders love and hate it at the same time); the Vuelta is a blistering preparation for the World Championships, as it has been for some time, but the shark-toothed profiles keep everyone interested in the red shirt at stake.
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