A star-studded line-up is set to take on the “Race of the Two Seas”, Tirreno-Adriatico, the 51st edition of which rolls out on Wednesday (March 9).
Winner in 2012 and 2013, Vincenzo Nibali leads the contenders for the trident trophy, but the Astana man is not going to be short of big rivals.
Last year’s world number one Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is set to be one of those, bidding to replicate team-mate Nairo Quintana’s triumph in 2015.
Other GC men looking to make an early mark on the 2016 UCI WorldTour season include Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), while Team Sky travel with many options including Michal Kwiatkowski, Leopold Konig and British champion Peter Kennaugh.
Away from the battle for the blue jersey and trident trophy there will be plenty of action too, with Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) back on the road after their Track Worlds exploits.
So who should we be keeping an eye on, and where will the race be won? Read on for our comprehensive look at the route and riders.