Alfonsina Strada was born on 16 March 1891 near Modena in Northern Italy. At an early age she developed a passion for cycling and competing at races. Her nickname among the locals when she rode on the dirt roads surrounding the area was the “Devil in a Dress.” Although her parents did all they could to discourage her from bike racing, she was strong-willed and refused to give up her dream of racing. She entered the Giro under the false first name of Alfonso, letting the organisers believe that she was a male rider. Although the organisers later discovered the truth, they allowed her to continue riding and she completed the Italian Grand Tour in 1924 after riding all 3,610 km.
The Swedish rider celebrated her 45th birthday on 16 March. She is a multiple-time the national champion, four-time Olympian and won the World Road Championships in 2002 in Belgium and in 2003 in Canada. In addition she was victorious at two World Cups and several stage races. Picking up a bike at the age of 12 and after quickly winning several races, she continued to become one of Sweden’s most successful riders. After having been diagnosed with hemochromatosis, she retired from active competition in 2010 to work as a consultant with Pema, a company that provides staffing solutions. In her free time, Ljungskog now also encourages others to take up riding. Creating a popular cycling network, she coaches groups of girls not only on how to race, but also on how to enjoy exploring their surroundings by bike.
German rider Regina Schleicher turned 46 years old on 21 March. She was National Road Champion, and won the U23 European Championships in 1994, as well as several UCI World Cup races and multiple stage races. After her retirement, she turned to a quieter life and now simply enjoys cycling for its social and health benefits.