The magic of Strade Bianche
In just three years Strade Bianche has become one of the most popular races on the cycling calendar. This year Strade Bianche again marks the start of the 2018 Women’s WorldTour. The stunning scenery, challenging course and incredibly steep gravel climbs have made it a modern day classic for men and women alike.
Kasia Niewiadoma will be part of our roster on Saturday 3 February. “I love this race because of where it takes place. The extraordinarily hard course, the demanding finale! The women’s peloton has few opportunities in the season to race on gravel roads. Roads where you push your boundaries of pain but at the same time enjoy the sensations experienced! The harder the race, the more satisfied with your performance I say. That’s why we consider this race magical,” said the 23 year-old.
The women’s race takes in breathtaking scenery and the infamous gravel white roads of Tuscany. The 2018 edition has eight gravel sectors, one more than it did in 2017. Other differences this year come in slightly different roads after the departure, an additional two gravel sectors in the first 40km of racing and overall the race is 9km longer.
As one of the most prestigious women’s races to win, perhaps akin to Flanders or Flèche Wallonne, Strade Bianche entices many riders to dream of crossing its finish line in Siena’s Piazza del Campo victorious.
“Many times during winter preparation where the weather outside was not so great and motivation to ride your bike was sparse, I would think about Strade Bianche. I would think about winning this race. It gave me immediate inspiration about what and why I was doing that preparation,” revealed Niewiadoma.
Niewiadoma, who has finished second in the last two years at Strade Bianche said she feels no pressure to perform and is thriving in her new environment with CANYON//SRAM Racing.
“I did my first race last week with my new team where I felt good in terms of my shape and how I was able to cooperate with my teammates and staff. I feel like I’m blooming! I don’t have any expectations for Saturday. I have done a lot of good work and all what I need for this race is luck. I’m confident about my current level and I just want to fight until I drop to deliver the best result ever,” declared Niewiadoma.
Our roster for the white roads classic is Alena Amialiusik, Hannah Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Kasia Niewiadoma. The race starts at 09:05 CET on Saturday 3 February and can be followed on Twitter with #StradeBianche and #UCIWWT.