Tom Pidcock, Tadej Pogacar, and Julian Alaphilippe are the ‘big three’ for Strade Bianche (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)
Many of the best Spring Classics contenders travel to Italy this week for Saturday’s Strade Bianche . With Mathieu van der Poel still out of action due to his back injury and Wout van Aet opting for Paris-Nice, which starts on Sunday, this year’s race is wide open.
The weather is cold but dry in Tuscany this week and so the gravel roads will be compact, dusty and fast. Strade Bianche includes 63 kilometres of dirt roads spread across the 11 sectors of the 184-kilometre race, making it a unique and spectacular event.
The route is also packed with a myriad of short, steep hills through the fields and vineyards, creating one of the hardest days in the saddle, yet one most riders are happy to endure. It is like combining the climbing of Liège-Bastogne-Liège with the dust and dirt of the Paris-Roubaix, all wrapped up in Tuscan history and breathtaking beauty.
We’ve picked 10 of the best to keep an eye on during this year’s Strade Bianche, which starts and finishes in Siena.
We will have a separate preview and special pre-race features for the women’s edition of Strade Bianche. (Image credit: Getty Images) Team: QuickStep-Alpha-Vinyl
Age: 29 Race record: Winner in 2019, second in 2021 The world champion deserves top billing, even if he is still not yet at peak form.Alaphilippe is not targeting the cobbled Classics this year and so has […]