So my predictions weren’t bad for Strade Bianche with Anna Van Der Breggen finishing 9th Ashleigh Moolman Pasio finishing 6th & unfortunately Amanda Spratt crashing out of the race. Massive congratulations to Annemiek Van Vleuten for winning the race in spectacular form after coming back from injury, I believe she’s going to be so dominant this year after following her journey back & seeing how much hard work she’s put in over the winter.
Coming up next is the next round of the UCI WWT, Trofeo Binda another one of my personal favourites which includes some short steep power climbs which usually decide the final of the race after laps of attrition or race deciding moves going on these climbs. The race is a total of 131km and starts with a big lap which is generally quite controlled before entering the finish circuit of 4 laps with 2 major climbs. One being short & steep with the critical part being positioning near the front before the narrow entrance of the climb. The second isn’t as steep but longer at around 3km at 4%. It’s harder for the pure climbers to drop the more powerful riders on this climb so the damage is generally done on the stepper one before hand.
Usually the winning move goes on the short steep climb with a small group getting over the second longer climb to battle it out to the finish. Last year the race was won solo by Kasia Niewiadoma with a 23 second lead over Chantal black who won the sprint of the small group for 2nd & Marianne Vos in 3rd.
I spoke to Kasia who said “I like this race and coming back to Italy always gives me good feelings! Personally I think that this race is very interesting! You cannot say that it suits climbers or sprinters! Everyone can win this battle, it depends on your team plan and others tactics! It’s very unpredictable and you have to be attentive and ready to fight ever since the start is given! Last year was brutal mostly because of very bad weather! We were fighting with mother nature more than with each other! I felt good on that day and being from Poland somehow helps me to survive or just ride better in bad conditions so I could use that advantage ! Going to Italy this year I don’t think about defending my victory but about racing well and smart with my team! Once we do it I believe we can surprise ourself with a great result.”
So having ridden this race a few times before it’s so hard to predict as like Kasia mentioned both climbers and sprinters are in for a chance. My predictions for this year are:
- Chantal Blaak
- Marianne Vos
- Marta Bastianelli