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Van Aert and Van Vleuten top the favourite list again

05/03/2021

The starters for Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo and Strade Bianche Eolo have been announced

The men’s race will see the winners of the past two editions, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), at the start line, as well as Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix). Other stars looking to make history at the Piazza del Campo finish line are Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – who won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last Saturday – Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana – Premier Tech), João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick- Step), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën Team), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo), Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education – Nippo) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team). With two Strade Bianche victories in his pocket, Michał Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) will look to match the record of three victories achieved by Fabian Cancellara (2008, 2012 and 2016). Should he succeed, a segment of Strade Bianche will be named in his honour, as happened with the Swiss champion’s name from the 2017 edition.

The women’s race features the winner of the last two editions, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar Team), who would also have a segment of Strade Bianche named in her honour if she was to secure her third successive win.

Road cycling world champion Anna Van Der Breggen (SD Worx) and the Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo Women) are among the contenders, together with Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon Sram Racing), Marta Bastianelli (Alé Btc Ljubljana), Ellen Van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo Women), Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma Women), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Elisa Balsamo (Valcar – Travel & Service).

Statistics

A classic for young riders. Fabian Cancellara is the only male rider who won Strade Bianche after his 30th birthday (in 2012 and 2016). The youngest winner is also the only Italian in the record books: Moreno Moser, 22 years old in 2013. In the women’s race, Annemiek van Vleuten is also the only Strade Bianche winner to have passed 30 (she was 36 and 37 years old, respectively, in the past two editions of the race). The youngest female winner is also the only Italian winner: Elisa Longo Borghini, 25 years old in 2017.

The only back-to-back victory was in the women’s race. In 14 editions, no male rider has won two years in a row. Not even two riders from the same nationality follow each other in the record books (Switzerland tops the tally with three victories, all by Fabian Cancellara, the same number as Belgium, by Philippe Gilbert, Tiesj Benoot and Wout van Aert). In the women’s race, Annemiek van Vleuten has won the past two editions, right after her Dutch compatriot Anna van der Breggen.

TV Coverage

The international broadcast of the seventh edition of Strade Bianche Women Elite Eolo and the 15th edition of Strade Bianche Eolo (men’s race), which are to take place on Saturday 6 March, will be produced by RAI. RAI will cover live the last hour of the women’s race and the last three hours of the men’s race. The broadcast will be distributed in over 200 countries, through nine different networks.

Italy’s public broadcaster will offer the men’s race live on RAI Sport +HD and the women’s one straight after as a recorded event.

In Belgium, RTBF will offer Strade Bianche Eolo only, with French commentary, while VRT Sporza will broadcast both races with Dutch commentary.

In France, Europe’s most southern northern classic will only be available to watch online, on Eurosport Player and GCN. In all of Europe, the event will be broadcast on TV on Eurosport 1, as well as online on GCN, which will live-stream it worldwide, too, with just a few exceptions. In Latin America and the Caribbeans, ESPN, which holds exclusive broadcasting rights to the race, will offer both races, while TUDN will be broadcasting the men’s race in Mexico and Central America.

In Japan, J Sports and GCN will broadcast the race, while SKY Sports will offer exclusive broadcast of the race in New Zealand.

RCS Sport and Velon have renewed their agreement

RCS Sport and Velon have renewed for a further two years their agreement for the real-time collection and communication of live in-race data. This includes the riders’ speed, cadence, power, plus the riders’ “red zone” of effort and gradient. Riders’ data will be included in the international broadcast feed and on the digital platforms of the races, Velon and the teams.

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