Trofeo Costa Etrusca
March 20-22, Toscana, Italy
The first major races in the European, specifically, the Italian calendar takes place at the weekend. The three day Trofeo Costa Etrusca race has attracted 25 teams, including 5 national teams, totalling 196 riders for this Tuscan test, which comes just a week before the first World Cup race of the 2009 UCI series up the road in Cittiglio, the Trofeo Binda (click here for Trofeo Binda preview)
This is not really a stage race, but a series of three one day races presented by the same organisation committee. As such, teams are able to change the composition of their teams on a daily basis.
The three races are varied but include some climbs for the riders. Race 1 takes place on Friday 20th March and makes a tour of the area of Livorno, including a climb of Nibbiaia, 80km into the parcours. The climb of Montenero is just five kilometres away from the finish.
The second race on Saturday 21st is 113 kilometres and includes the climb to the picturesque village of Montescudaio three times. On the final ascent, the riders will no doubt be glad to see the finish line.
The final race, on Sunday 22 March is 102 kilometres and takes in the climb of Riparbella before finishing with a climb in the direction of Castellina Marittima, where Nicole Cooke, the current Olympic and World Champion stamped her mark on this race in 2007.
Recent World Champions are in the start list - reigning World and Olympic Champion, Nicole Cooke (Vision 1 Racing) and 2006 Champion, Marianne Vos (Netherlands National Team) will be riding. Also listed are previous World Champions, Regina Schleicher (Nürnberger), Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint), Edita Puckinskaite (Team Kuota Dilà) and Olympic time trial Champion, Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team).
Team List (with key riders announced)
(Germany) - Keller, Beltman, Villumsen
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