Named after the famed Italian Cycling Legend, Alfredo Binda, the 24nd edition of the women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda will take place next Sunday, March 19th. Alfredo Binda was an Italian champion in the 20’s and 30’s, winning the Giro d’Italia 5 times before his retirement from competition. He would later go on to manage other Italian Legends such as Coppi, and Bartali.
The women’s race held its first edition in 1974 as a modest regional competition. It would soon grow to be an international race, attracting the big names in women’s cycling at the time. It ran through 1996, taking a two-year hiatus before it was restructured and launched anew in 1999. After the women’s calendar lost San Remo, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda grew in stature becoming the only Italian race in the women’s world cup before joining the WorldTour in 2016.
Several national and world champions have triumphed on the streets of Cittiglio, including Marianne Vos (2009, ’10, ’12, and ’19), Elisa Longo Borghini (2013, 2021), and last season, Elisa Balsamo.
For the first time, the race will start from Maccagno showcasing Lake Maggiore and Luino near the border of Switzerland on the Lombard Shore. The course takes the riders along the same training roads and mountains Binda used to ride during his illustrious career, with its traditional finish in Cittiglio often referred to as ‘the town of Binda’.
Through the 139km route, the peloton will pass through 25 municipalities of Varese en route to the first of four 20km laps in Cittiglio before celebrating the winner of the 24th edition.
Riders to Watch
Last season three Italians stood on the podium – Elisa Balsamo in her rainbow jersey, ahead of Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ), and Soraya Paladin (Canyon//SRAM). Now racing in the tricolors of Italy, Balsamo is expected to return in defense of her title last season. She had a great start to her season, winning 2 stages at the Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines in February. Last week, she just missed reaching the podium at Ronde van Drenth, behind SD Worx Lorena Wiebes.
Balsamo’s compatriot and 2X past winner of the event, Elisa Longo Borghini continues to recover from illness, and is expected to return to racing in early April.
Meanwhile, SD Worx will be lingering in the peloton, hoping to continue their momentum of early season wins these last few weeks. The team has yet to release their roster for the event, but will surely be marked after their 1-2 finish at Strade Bianchi with Demi Vollering and Lotte Kopecky, and Lorena Wiebes’ success with her recent victory last weekend at Ronde van Drenthe.
Other riders to keep an eye on include FDJ’s Cecille Uttrup Ludwig, UAE’s Sofia Bertizzolo, and Coryn Labecki racing for Jumbo Visma. Riders will roll to the line just after midday local time.
‘Watch the Femmes’ TV Coverage: Eurosport 2, RAI Sport
When: Sunday, 19 March
Where: Cittiglio, Italy
What: 1-day Spring Classic
Riders to Watch:
Elisa Balsamo *****
Sofia Bertizzolo ****
Coryn Labecki ***
Soraya Paladin **
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By Rebecca Reza