Russ Ellis, one of pro-cycling’s most talented photographers takes us on his journey of Tirreno-Adriatico, the Italian stage race fought out between two seas. Enough of the words, we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves

We arrived in Lido di Camaiore a few days before the race was due to start and were immediately welcomed by an almighty storm, it was blowing a gale and the rain was coming down sideways, things were not looking good for photographs. Fortunately the trident Gods rolled us a lucky six and the weather came good.

We spent the day before the race wandering around the team hotels hoping to catch a glimpse of the riders and the tech. By now the weather had now been fixed! It was super sunny, shorts and t-shirt were the dress de rigueur, well, for a Yorkshireman anyway!

The race started with a Team Time Trial (TTT) and was the perfect stage to get up and running with the imagery, all the buses and riders were in one place for the whole afternoon.

The second stage was the first proper road stage and we spent the morning at sign on before jumping in the car. This is the moment the craziness kicks off, constantly chasing the race as it makes it’s way across from west coast to east coast.

Each start and finish town we visited blew me away, I’ve not been to Italy since I was a child and although I knew it was a beautiful part of the world I wasn’t really ready for it. May can’t come soon enough when I’ll return to cover the Giro.

Unfortunately my Yorkshire blood couldn’t quite stop the shivers while stood waiting on the climb of the Terminillo during the Queen’s Stage on Saturday. The road was snow lined and the atmosphere electric. A small taster for the epic climbs that awaits us for the 100th edition of the Giro.

Peter Sagan, what is there to say really, yes there were other great riders at this race, one being Geraint Thomas who took an outstanding win, and of course Nairo who took the win on the Terminillo and ultimately the GC. But Sagan was in full beast mode and I am not sure there is anything this man can’t do. You would have to be a brave person to bet against him taking at least a couple of monuments over the coming months.

PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away prizes worth €10,000 among all participants of our reader's survey! Win prizes from Open, Focus and Shimano! Click here to take part now!

Words: Russ Ellis Photos: Russ Ellis