Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Strade Bianchi baby!


Strade Bianchi baby! The white roads of Tuscany get another run on the Pro Tour today. This is a relatively new one day classic, and an Italian take on the cobbled classics of the legendary Belgian spring. Instead of cobblestones, we have hard-packed clay sectors where moves are made, races are won and all the cool photos are taken.

This area is also the scene of THAT stage of the Giro in 2010 when Cadel rode Vinokourov off the wheel.

The weather that day was filthy: torrential rain and very cold, making work on the clay treacherous to say the least.

Strade Bianchi
Cadel took a super victory on the white roads in the Giro. Photo©Pentaphoto-Rcs/Marco Trovati

The weather at this time of the year is less wet, or at least has been for this particular race, but the clay is still where the decisive moves are made.

The finale up into the main square of Siena is steep and very difficult at the end of a long day, making this a race for strong men who can punch up tough, short climbs at speed.

Gilbert won it last year, Cancellara has been a force here regularly and Hesjedal has consistently been at the business end of the show.

The start list this year has some surprises — Millar returning could be interesting: Dave is an enormous threat when he’s on form; BMC are fielding a ludicrously strong squad; and the Italians will invariably have someone contesting at the pointy end of the race.

My money is on Gilbert from Ryder, with Sagan just dropping off the pace on the final kick.

Will be a great race. I only wish that I could be there!

Read more from Toby at his blog, Tobblogganing.

Toby Watson
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

At Random

The Drummond Trophy 2009

"I hit 'em hard!" was how Pete Williams (Pinarello/Candi TV/ Marshalls Pasta) explained his race winning move in Sunday's 54th Drummond Trophy, held in bright sunshine on the sinuous back roads west of Eaglesham and the M77. With a new Scottish sponsor's name on their jerseys (Marshalls) and the commanding figure of team boss Phil Griffiths there in the flesh, there was never any doubt that Pinarello were going to win.

Davide Rebellin – “It is a wonderful opportunity and a privilege to be a professional cyclist”

A few weeks ago I posted on social media a picture of Davide Rebellin in his new Sovac-Natura4ever team strip for 2018; his 27th season as a professional. I commented that he was a ‘remarkable man.’ Immediately I was informed that I was, ‘glorifying a doper.’ When I responded by asking how he was any different to the pundits, TV commentators, self-styled fashion gurus and authors who have all fallen foul of the testers but are now accepted by the cycling community - no one could tell me. Former ‘cross star Barry Davies suggested that I organise an interview with the Italian; ‘good idea,’ I thought to myself.

Stephen Hall – the Tasmanian Christmas Carnival Series

Aussie all-rounder, Stephen Hall took part in the famous Tasmanian Christmas Carnival series with some success; he gave us this insight from the other side of the globe...

Spring Classics Have Sprung!

And so the warm weather (excluding Tour of the Med) precursors to the bike season proper have concluded. Down Under, Qatar, Oman, Algarve, etc have all had their brief moments in the spotlight, Langkawi has kicked off with a win to Zab in the time trial (no surprises that Zab is nowhere near the Classics! Not a sketchy conditions type of rider is the great DZ.) Now we head to the heartland of the sport and the portion of the season where the hardmen have their moments to shine.

Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor announce sponsorship deal with Edinburgh Road Club

The Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor has announced that they will sponsor Edinburgh RC/The Bicycleworks, one of the UK's biggest cycling clubs. The sponsorship deal will see the hotel's logo appear on the club's kit, website and race support vehicle.

Bert Roesems – Wants a Win!

It's the 2007 Three Days of De Panne, stage one, hilly, windy and there are men dying out there. But at the front a powerful figure attacks constantly into the wind which scythes in off the North Sea-and he doesn't quit his huge 'digs' until the race defining break has formed around him.