CANYON//SRAM Racing Head To Strade Bianche

CANYON//SRAM Racing head into one of the most spectacular races of the year, Strade Bianche, which takes place tomorrow Saturday, 2nd March. The team will field an imposing roster of Ricarda Bauernfeind (sixteenth in her debut in 2023), Neve Bradbury (debut in 2024), Elise Chabbey (sixth in 2022), Kasia Niewiadoma (four podiums, eight top tens), Soraya Paladin (fourteenth in 2021, eight appearances), and Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka (three appearances).

The rising popularity of Strade Bianche as a captivatingly beautiful and unique race is matched by the riders’ eagerness to claim victory and add it to their list of achievements. Though the distance remains almost unchanged, the 2024 edition brings a new parcours for the final hour of racing. The 137-kilometre race has two new sectors this year, Strada del Castagno and Montechiaro, and two sectors, Colle Pinzuto and Le Tolfe, are repeated twice. That counts twelve sectors with just under forty kilometres of Tuscan white roads awaiting the peloton – a constant splattering of punchy climbs and winding descents made technical by the gravel surface. Arguably, the biggest spectacle of the race is the finale of Via Santa Caterina, with its brutally steep gradients of 16%, before entering the Piazza del Campo.

RIDER REACTIONS

Kasia Niewiadoma said, “It’s nice to have a change in the course. It will bring more uncertainty amongst some riders on how to ride the final. The part we’re doing now twice is usually the hardest part of the race, where everything is exploding. At that point, you’re going from sector to sector, ‘on your lashes,’ as we say in Polish. Knowing that you have to do it twice now will bring some calmness in the first part of the race, or the peloton will arrive in ones and twos. It makes the race more unpredictable. Even if you don’t race one of the sectors hard, you need to put in an effort that not everyone can do on the same level.”

“We’re going to Italy with a strong team. After racing Setmana Valenciana and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, we learned some points and want to change. We have to race brilliantly to take our opportunities to put pressure on teams, isolate other favourites, and give ourselves the best chance to win.”

“Strade is an important and special race for me. I know my teammates will be eager to race. I want us to be present in the critical moves and commit to the win. We’re all aiming together to bring the victory of this unique and special race to our team.”

Soraya Paladin added, “It has been a challenging course in recent years. Now, it’s even more difficult. It will make the race more exciting. I like it and think it encourages more space for breakaway and action before the last lap.”

“You need to play your card smartly because it’s easy to crack. It will be a battle between the strongest physically and mentally.”

HOW TO WATCH

Strade Bianche starts at 09:30 CET and can be followed on X with #StradeBianche. A live broadcast starts at 12:00 CET on RAI, Eurosport, Discovery+, FloBikes and SBS.

More news

Share this post