Wednesday, October 27, 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 Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
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

Tour of the Meldons 2010

James Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) showed the rest of the field how to ride a hilly, chilly 20 mile time trial, this one around the picturesque Tour of the Meldons 2010 in the Scottish Borders.

Michael Mørkøv – Deceuninck’s Danish World Champion

Multiple Danish Champion on the track, European Champion and now three time World Champion; Michael Mørkøv has always been happy to give of his time to us and we had to catch up with him after his latest triumph in the Madison.

John Archibald – CTT 25 Mile TT Champion 2021

Once again the CTT 25 Mile TT honours came north for 2021, thanks to John Archibald’s (EOLO Kometa) successful defence of his 2020 title, this time on the L2529 Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick to Cockermouth course. John kindly consented to speak to us just a day or two after his successful defence.

Callum MacGregor – First Time Working on the Tour de France 2015

With Dave and Martin on family holidays it was down to Callum MacGregor to step in and put up with me for the annual mad whirl around France. As an experienced racer and fan but a first timer working on the race I thought it would be good to get his impressions of Le Grande Boucle. And there's time to spare on the long haul from L'Alpe d'Huez, north to Paris.

World Road Championships 2012 – Day Three; U23 Time Trial World Championship

The party’s over at the U23 Time Trial World Championship, there’s no more nice wee room in Valkenburg and ambling down for breakfast, with the patron asking if you’d like a fried egg to go with your rolls, cheese and ham.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 6: Mola di Bari – Margherita di Savoia, 169km. Kit Car Cav.

There are aspects of the sprinting phenomenon which is ‘Cav’ that don’t rest easy with me. The baby and Paul Smith on the podium, mouthing off about his team, the swearing... But when I see him sprint, I could forgive him just about anything. He has the coolness under fire, the spacial awareness, the grinta and the raw speed – but most of all he wants to win so badly.