01 July 2020

Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite routes confirmed

The routes of Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite being raced on Saturday 1 August have been officially confirmed. The two races, as per recent tradition, will start from the Fortezza Medicea in Siena and end in the unique setting of Piazza del Campo in Siena, after 184 and 136km respectively.

 

14th STRADE BIANCHE – 184km, 11 sectors and 63km on gravel roads (34.2% of the course)

 

The Strade Bianche, organized by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport, is scheduled in Siena on Saturday 1 August. “Europe’s most southern northern classic”, part of the elite of world cycling since 2017, is now a key race on the UCI WorldTour calendar. The last winner to triumph in Piazza del Campo was Julian Alaphilippe, who also won the 2019 edition of Milano-Sanremo.

 

6th STRADE BIANCHE WOMEN ELITE – 136km, 8 sectors and 31.4km on gravel roads (23.1% of the course)

 

Strade Bianche Women Elite will be held in Siena, a few hours before the start of the men’s race. Strade Bianche Women Elite is set to be one of the most spectacular races of the year, a unique event on the global cycling scene thanks both to its special course character including Tuscany’s famous gravel roads, and to the high level of participants.

All eight UCI Women’s WorldTeams, and the best seven UCI Women’s Continental Teams are expected to start, along with eight wild cards.

The 2019 edition was won by Annemiek van Vleuten (who went on to become UCI Road World Champion later in the year in Harrogate, UK) ahead of Annika Langvad and Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

 

QUOTES

 

The Mayor of Siena Luigi De Mossi, and the Councilor for Tourism and Commerce of the Municipality of Siena Alberto Tirelli, said: “We are excited about this new start with Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite on Saturday, August 1st: the city of Siena is ready to welcome these two events with the best riders on the international scene. It will be an important postcard to be shown to the world with the unique natural and artistic beauties of Siena and its surroundings.”

 

Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite will mark the restart also for us at RCS Sport. Strade Bianche will in fact be the first race on our calendar, an interesting test for the rest of the season. “In addition to symbolizing the restart of cycling in Italy, these races also want to be a restart, not only from a sporting point of view but also from a tourist point of view, since cycling is closely connected to the promotion of the territory. We are confident that these events will take place in the best way and always in compliance with the rules. We confirm the consolidated route of Strade Bianche that, for some years, has contributed to making ‘Europe’s most southern northern classic’ a point of reference among the great Classics on the international calendar.”

 

THE ROUTE OF STRADE BIANCHE

 

It’s a twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but punchy hills, most significantly on the unpaved parts. There are roughly 63km of gravel roads, across 11 sectors, eight of which are shared with the Women Elite course.

Starting from the Stadium/Medicean Fortress area of Siena, the initial undulating kilometres are on asphalt before reaching the 2.1km-long gravel Sector 1 at km 18, which is perfectly straight and slightly downhill.

After a few kilometres the riders then face Sector 2 (5.8km), the first real challenge with a short descent followed by a long climb with sections of over 10% gradient.

The course then goes through Radi, where gravel Sector 3 starts (4.4km long; the second part of what was gravel Sector 1 in the race’s first edition) shortly followed by Sector 4 – named “La Piana” – and one of the race’s classic gravel sectors (5.5km in length, and featured in the course ever since the first edition) with no significant gradient, leading to Buonconvento.

After a few kilometres the second climb of the day starts: the Montalcino (4km at 5%). Following Torrenieri the riders face Sectors 5 (11.9km) and 6 (8km) with only 1km of tarmac in between. Both are hard, hilly, very punchy and with many challenging bends, climbs and descents.

After the second passage through Buonconvento the riders will reach the feed station, positioned in the area of Ponte d’Arbia. Soon the route reaches Monteroni d’Arbia, which marks the beginning of Sector 7 of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It’s a long sector with continuous ups and downs in the first part, ending up with a twisting climb before meeting the tarmac again.

In Ponte del Garbo (Asciano) gravel Sector 8 begins. At 11.5km it’s the hardest of the race, mostly uphill and characterised by tough hills, the most important being those close to Monte Sante Marie, with steep gradients on both climbs and descents over short distances. After Castelnuovo Berardenga there’s a very short, flat section of gravel (300m) before facing, after Monteaperti, Sector 9 – it’s only 800m long, but greets the riders with a double digit gradient ramp before they rejoin the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and then a paved road through Pieve a Bozzone.

Next comes the penultimate section of gravel (Sector 10, 2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto, with gradients up to 15%. After a few kilometres the riders then face the last gravel section (Sector 11, 1.1km) which features a sequence of demanding descents followed by a very punchy climb (with a maximum gradient of 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

 

Final Kilometres

 

The demanding final kilometres, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descents and slight climbs. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda; here the gradient touches 9%.

900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient then exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its steepest gradient of 16% along Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself, which is flat.

 

THE ROUTE OF STRADE BIANCHE WOMEN ELITE

 

A twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but with punchy hills – most significantly on the unpaved parts. There are roughly more than 30km of gravel roads across eight sectors (all shared with the Men’s course).Starting from the Stadium/Medicean Fortress area of Siena, the initial undulating kilometres are on Tarmac before reaching the 2.1km-long gravel Sector 1 at km 18, which is perfectly straight and slightly downhill.

After few kilometres the riders then face Sector 2 (5.8km), the first real challenge with a short descent followed by a long climb with sections of over 10% gradient.

The course then goes through Radi, where gravel Sector 3 starts (4.4km) shortly followed by Sector 4 – named “La Piana” – and one of the race’s classic gravel sectors (5.5km in length, and featured in the course ever since the first edition) with no significant gradient, leading to Buonconvento.

After the passage through Buonconvento the riders will reach the feed station, positioned in the Ponte d’Arbia area. Soon the route reaches Monteroni d’Arbia, which marks the beginning of Sector 5 of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It’s a long sector with continuous ups and downs in the first part, ending up with a twisting climb before meeting the tarmac again.

After Castelnuovo Berardenga there’s a very short, flat section of gravel (300m) before riders face, after Monteaperti, Sector 6 – it’s only 800m long, but greets the riders with a double digit gradient ramp before they rejoin the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and then a paved road through Pieve a Bozzone. Next comes the penultimate gravel section (Sector 7, 2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto, with gradients up to 15%. After a further few kilometres the riders will face the last section of gravel (Sector 8, 1.1km) which features a sequence of demanding descents followed by a very punchy climb (with a maximum gradient of 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

Final kilometres are the same as the men’s course.