Mark Cavendish will be out to build on his last stage win at the Tour of Oman when the seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico gets under way on Wednesday.
It's the final event before the Milan-San Remo one-day classic on Saturday, March 19, which Cav won in 2009.
The HTC-Highroad team has used the past three days to check out the finale in San Remo, riding the last 60 kilometres on Sunday and the final 100 on Monday.
The Tirreno-Adriatico starts with a 16.8km team time trial and the next two stages look to be for the sprinters.
Cav has Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel as his leading support for the race.
Other sprinters he will need to beat include World Champion Thor Hushovd, Tyler Farrar, Alessandro Petacchi and former teammate Andre Greipel.