28.02.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
STRADE BIANCHE CALLS
CANYON//SRAM Racing move to Italy to race the characterful Strade Bianche on Saturday, 4 March. The team’s roster for the 136km race is Ricarda Bauernfeind, Elise Chabbey, Tiffany Cromwell, Kasia Niewiadoma, Soraya Paladin and Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka.
Strade Bianche has risen quickly and definitively to be a favourite race on the calendar. The parcours remain essentially unchanged from last year, with punchy climbs and technical descents featuring over eight Tuscan white roads sectors. The peloton races 31.6km of this strade bianche, with tension steadily building from sector five, San Martino in Grania. After this 9.5km sector, Vico d’Arbia, Colle Pinzuto and Le Tolfe follow. The brutally steep climb to finish a gruelling race is the 16% gradient Via Santa Caterina before entering the heart of Siena to cross the finish line in Piazza del Campo.
Elise says, “I’m excited about Strade Bianche. It’s my favourite on the calendar because it’s always a hard race where you’re never bored. I love the sectors and the technical aspect of the race. We have a strong team and are motivated to reach the top.”
It will be a Women’s World Tour and Strade Bianche debut for teammate Ricarda. “I’m looking forward to Saturday. After Setmana Valencia, I had some days to recover. The stage race was a good start and gave me some confidence, but I still have some points to learn that I hope to put into practice this weekend and the upcoming races.”
“Strade Bianche is special with the sectors. I had already watched videos from the years before and studied the route. It’s the first time I will race on anything like a gravel sector, but I’m hoping to handle it well and support our leader,” adds Ricarda.
Kasia, who consecutively finished on the podium from 2016 to 2019, says Strade Bianche is her first target for 2023. “It’s my target, but as I said last week at Omloop, I aim to perform in every race. I have strong feelings for these roads, and I love how unconventional the race is. I believe you must be a skilled bike rider in the best shape, well-supported by your team and able to make the right decisions. A little luck always helps!” smiles Kasia.
HOW TO WATCH
Strade Bianche starts at 09:25CET on Saturday, 4 March and can be followed on Twitter with #StradeBianche. Watch the race live from 11:30CET on RaiSport, SBS, Sky Sport, Supersport, GCN, Eurosport and RTBF.