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The rainbow shines above Strade Bianche

04/03/2022

The starters of Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo and Strade Bianche Eolo have been announced. The two Road World Champions Julian Alaphilippe and Elisa Balsamo will be at the start of ‘Europe’s southernmost northern classic’.
TV images to be distributed in over 200 countries around the world.
There are many other contenders for the victory among men and women: Pogacar, Benoot, Van Avermaet, Carapaz, Fuglsang, Valverde, Mohoric, Moscon and Matthews; Longo Borghini, Vos, Van Vleuten, van den Broek-Blaak, Niewiadoma. Van Vleuten is looking for her third success. Tomorrow’s winner’s press conferences will be held approximately half an hour after the end of each race, available at this link.

The starters of Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo and Strade Bianche Eolo have been announced.

In the men’s category there will be the World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, who has won this race in 2019, Tadej Pogacar, Tiesj Benoot (winner in Siena in 2018), Greg Van Avermaet, Richard Carapaz, Jakob Fuglsang, Alejandro Valverde, Matej Mohoric, Gianni Moscon and Michael Matthews.

Among the women at the start, the 2021 winner Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Annemiek Van Vleuten, winner of the 2019 and 2020 editions. In case of a victory, she is in contention to become the first triple winner. There will also be Elisa Balsamo, Elisa Longo Borghini (winner in Siena in 2017), Marianne Vos, Katarzyna Niewiadoma and many others.

TV coverage

The international signal of the two races scheduled in Siena on Saturday 5 March (the eighth edition of the Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo and the sixteenth edition of the Strade Bianche Eolo) will be broadcasted live the last two hours of the women’s race and the last three hours of the men’s race. TV images to be distributed in over 200 countries around the world, thanks to the coverage of 8 different networks.
“Europe’s southernmost Northern classic” will be broadcasted in Europe on the linear channel Eurosport 1 and on the GCN+ web platform, which will also live stream the race in the rest of the world, at the exception of New Zealand, where it will be possible to watch the race exclusively on SKY Sport.
Furthermore, fans will able be to watch both races live on Directv in South America and on Supersport in South Africa. The race will also be broadcasted by J Sports in Japan, while Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo will also be broadcasted live in Australia by SBS.
In Italy RAI will broadcast the men’s race live on the RAI Sport + HD from 2.30 pm to 3.15 pm, and from 3.15 pm on RAI 2 until the finish of the race. The last two hours of the women’s race will be broadcasted on RAI Sport Web from 11:35 am and available on RAI Sport + HD from 01:00 am the following day.

  • Strade Bianche Eolo International TV Schedule available here.
  • Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo International TV Schedule available here.

8a Strade Bianche Women Elite EOLO – 136km, 8 sectors and 31.4km on gravel roads (23.1% of the course).

Start from Fortezza Medicea, Piazza della Libertà at 9.10
Strade Bianche Women Elite will be held in Siena, a few hours before the start of the men’s race. The race is set to be one of the most spectacular 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. The previous edition was won by Chantal van den Broek-Blaak.

 

16a Strade Bianche EOLO – 184km, 11 sectors and 63km on gravel roads (34.2% of the course).

Starts from Fortezza Medicea, Piazza della Libertà at 11.40
Strade Bianche, organized by RCS Sport, is scheduled to take place in Siena on Saturday 5 March. “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 Netherland’s Mathieu van der Poel.

 

The route description

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 more than 31km 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 kilometers take place on tarmac before reaching the 2.1km-long gravel Sector 1 at km 18, which is perfectly straight and slightly downhill.
After a few kilometers 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 to start with, and ends 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 of up to 15%. After a further few kilometers, 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 at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

Final Kilometers

The demanding final kilometers, 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. At 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda; here the gradient touches 9%.
With 900m to go to 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, 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% to the finish line itself, which is flat.

The route of Strade Bianche EOLO

It’s a twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but punchy hills, most significantly on the unpaved sections of the route. 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 kilometers 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 kilometers, 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.
A few kilometers later, the second climb of the day begins: 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 and very punchy, 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 of up to 15%. After a few kilometers, 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 at the Tolfe. From there, only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

Final Kilometers

The demanding final kilometers, 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. At 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda; here the gradient touches 9%.
With 900m to go to 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, 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% to the finish line itself, which is flat.

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