Saturday’s opening round of the seventh UCI Women’s WorldTour saw Lotte Kopecky (Belgium/SD Worx) win Strade Bianche, the 2022 UCI Women’s WorldTour opener on the white roads of Tuscany, Italy. Kopecky stopped two-time winner Annemiek van Vleuten’s early season winning streak, outsprinting the Dutch rider in the finale. Kopecky called it the biggest win of her career. Magdeleine Vallieres was the top Canadian in 32nd.
Except for a 49-km loop that contained nearly 20 km of sterrati , the women’s 136-km course in Tuscany was the same as the men’s, with the stiff ramps and tricky descents of Sector 5 Lucignano d’Asso and the concluding 16-percent climb to the historic Piazzo del Campo in Siena. The Canadian Contingent There were four Canadians racing: Leah Kirchman of Team DSM, Magdeleine Vallieres and Sara Poidevin of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and Olivia Baril of Valcar-Travel & Service. Baril was top Canadian last year.
The day’s early breakaway was a duo consisting of Emily Newsom (U.S.A) of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and Rebecca Koerner (Denmark) of Uno-X Pro Cycling Team. Sector Two was too much for Koerner and after sector three Newsom led the peloton by three minutes, and Koerner by 38 seconds.
With 50 km to go, Newsom was back in the streamlined peloton. Strade Bianche Women Elite @eolo_it 80 km percorsi. Gruppo compatto. Segui la diretta https://t.co/pMN5QAr3tw 80 km into the race. Gruppo compatto. Follow live https://t.co/NkOUYeXQGM #StradeBianche pic.twitter.com/dF87LZlMXf — Strade Bianche (@StradeBianche) March 5, 2022 On the long, hilly stretch in the Tuscan […]